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14 September 2019 Comments (0) Architecture, Culture

Norman Foster wanted to plant a Tulip in London

The City of London had approved the design of Foster + Partners’ controversial the Tulip Tower in early April. But the Mayor of the city, Sadiq Khan, just rejected the project.

Rarely has a project presented by a star of modern architecture aroused so much mockery on the web. Yet, this is what happened to Norman Foster, 1999 Pritzker prize winner.

His firm, Forster + Partners, presented The Tulip, a stunning 308-metre-high viewing tower, that was to become one of the main tourist attractions in London. Its slender shape ends in a bulb that recalls a tulip ready to bloom. Its glass structure was to house viewing galleries intended to offer visitors a fascinating experience with suspended bridges, internal glass slides and gondola walks on the building’s façade. The experience was to be complemented by an open-sky bar and restaurants offering 360° views of the city.

  • © DBOX for Foster + Partners
  • © DBOX for Foster + Partners
  • © DBOX for Foster + Partners
  • © DBOX for Foster + Partners
  • © DBOX for Foster + Partners
  • © DBOX for Foster + Partners

Second skyscraper in Europe

The Tulip was to be located next to the Gherkin, another iconic skyscraper also designed by Foster + Partners. Construction, funded by the Safra Group, was to begin in 2020 and be completed five years later.

Originally approved by the City of London Corporation, the project was rejected by Mayor Sadiq Khan on the grounds that the controversial design of the tower would “threaten” the historic skyline of the capital. In reality, public disavowal has flooded all social networks. Thousands of Londoners ridiculed the Tulip seeing in its phallic form the features of a vibrator. Norman Foster’s project would have been the second tallest building in Western Europe, behind The Shard, inaugurated in 2012.

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