Foster's Tulip Likely to Happen

John Hill
20. October 2021
Visualization: Foster + Partners

Unveiled by Foster + Partners in late 2018 but then rejected by London mayor Sadiq Khan less than a year later, The Telegraph is reporting that the Tulip is expected to gain approval from the housing secretary, allowing the 305-meter tower to proceed.

Proposed for a site directly next to Foster's earlier 30 St. Mary Axe — better known as The Gherkin — the Tulip has been controversial ever since it was unveiled in November 2018. As depicted in renderings, the nature-inspired form would exist purely as an tourist venue, with viewing galleries inside the tip and even a gondola ride on its facade. 

The tower designed by Foster + Partners for J. Safra Group gained planning approval in April 2019 but was then rejected by the London mayor three months later. Last we heard about the project before The Telegraph's October 16th headline was in November 2020, when a planning inquiry was opened for the 305-meter-tall "visitor attraction."

The person responsible for overturning Khan's rejection is Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. A decision was expected by Gove's predecessor, Robert Jenrick, but he was unexpectedly removed from his post in September of this year. Gove's decision is expected to happen by November 11th.

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