Foster + Partners’ design for The Tulip, expected to become the city’s next architectural icon, has been rejected by London mayor Sadiq Khan.
The City of London originally approved the design plans, but the mayor has since rejected the application due to concerns it would have limited public benefit, and that the architecture is of insufficient quality to justify it having such a prominent place in the London skyline. There are also concerns that it would impact views of the Tower of London World Heritage Site.
The 305-metre tower was to include a pocket park at its base, a rotating glass gondola rides on its sides and educational facilities at the top.
Designed primarily as a viewing attraction complete with observation deck and panoramic restaurant, Deloitte estimated there would be $1 billion worth of monetary gain from the building by 2045.
However, the building has always been controversial. There were concerns about its potential impact on London City Airport’s radar system, and in January 2019 the mayor’s office warned that a 305-metre viewing attraction goes against the city’s planning guidelines.
The Tulip would have stood next to The Gherkin, a well-known fixture in the London skyline also designed by Foster + Partners.