Plans for a huge tulip-shaped London skyscraper has been given the go-ahead.
The 305.3-metre building was granted planning permission by the City of London Corporation this week, and will become Europe’s second-tallest building after the Shard, near London Bridge.
The latest addition to the city skyline was designed by Foster + Partners, architect Norman Foster’s firm, and is owned by J. Safra Group. It will sit alongside other famously-nicknamed buildings including the Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie and the Cheese Grater.
A ‘bud’ at the top will boast 12 storeys accessible to the public, viewing platforms, rotating pods, a restaurant and a sky bar. Foster + Partners estimate 1.2 million people could visit the landmark each year – if it secures sign-off from mayor Sadiq Khan.
Ah, a tulip. Innocent enough, isn’t it? A lovely addition to the Square Mile.
But maybe for you, like many Twitter users, the artist’s impression of the structure conjured up, er, alternative ideas.
Such as...a tampon.
Or, obviously, a vibrator...
And cue the inevitable...
How about something to clean out your ears?
The blueprint received more serious criticism from Historic England, which described it as a “tall lift shaft”. Ouch.
Chief executive Duncan Wilson said: “This building – a lift shaft with a bulge on top – would damage the very thing its developers claim they will deliver – tourism and views of London’s extraordinary heritage.
“The setting of the Tower of London, a symbol of the city not just to millions of Londoners but to the whole world and one of our most visited places, will be harmed.”
Foster + Partners said in a statement that the desing had received widespread public approval.
However, “According to an independent representative poll of Londoners, conducted by ComRes, two thirds of London adults (65%) think that The Tulip would be an attractive addition to the London skyline, while 69% believe that the proposed development would have a positive impact on ‘the City’s attractiveness as a visitor and cultural destination’.”
Chris Hayward, chair of the City of London’s planning committee, said the “truly unique” attraction “has the potential to play an important role in realising our vision of the Square Mile as a vibrant 24/7 city”.