1,000 ft New Tower Planned For London
Property developers have unveiled proposals to build the City of London’s second-tallest skyscraper, complete with a 1,000 ft high viewing platform and nearly double the height of the Gherkin.
The 305m high new tower – dubbed the Tulip – will comprise twelve floors in total, including two floors of restaurants and bars, and three floors of viewing galleries. The 31,100 square foot building will include visitor space and a Sky Bridge, but no office space.
Plans detail the tower’s unique design including internal slides and transparent, moving viewing pods running on the outside of the building on an eight-minute touring loop. If built in accordance with current proposals, the building would be just one metre shorter than London’s tallest building, the Shard.
The City of London Corporation has yet to approve planning permission for the attraction however, with 181 documents submitted in support of the construction.
Development will be funded by American finance and property specialists J. Safra Group, with design by British architecture firm Foster + Partners. Construction is set to begin in 2020 pending approval, with the project due for completion as soon as 2025.
Skyscraper will push building height regulations
At exactly 305.3m, the Tulip will meet the upper limit of legally permissible building heights, as per the regulations of the Civil Aviation Authority.
Prior to the new proposals, a skyscraper named One Undershaft, yet to be built, was the tallest building to receive planning permission from the City after the Shard. Limits are instated to protect the flightpaths of planes landing at City airport.
Recent improvements to the runway at City airport however mean that building height restrictions have been loosened in recent years, enabling the proposed construction of projects such as the Tulip.
Other factors considered by the City in approving tall building construction include safeguarding protected views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London, the view from Monument, and the impact of new builds on the city skyline.
The financial district’s development laws are likely to be relaxed in the near future, with a draft plan to facilitate increased skyscraper construction to be reviewed in 2019. Despite the City of London being the only borough in the country with an average building height of over 40 storeys, demand for commercial space in the area remains high.
Research from New London Architecture shows that over 500 new skyscrapers were planned for development in 2017, up from 455 in 2016.
“Classroom in the sky” to serve 20,000 students a year
Built by developers as a design “in the spirit of London as a progressive, forward-thinking city” the Tulip project could form part of broader development plans to render the City a more cultural destination for tourists. Other proposals to regenerate the area include plans for a new concert hall as well as a museum. Developers hope that the Tulip could function as a tourist attraction to rival the Southbank’s London Eye, with 1.2 million visitors projected each year.
As part of its provisions to serve as a “world class…public cultural and tourist attraction,” the building will include a “classroom in the sky” for children to learn about London’s history, with 20,000 state school students to receive free visits each year.
The tower will also aim to meet the City’s sustainable development planning requirements. A plot of land surrounding the building will be turned into a new park, whilst a new, two-storey pavilion with a public rooftop garden is planned nearby.
The Tulip will generate its own energy and construction materials have been specially selected to reduce the site’s energy consumption.
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