In Brief

How London’s Tulip measures up against the UK’s tallest towers

Proposed building from the Gherkin’s architects set to become second-tallest skyscraper in Britain

London icons including the Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie and the Shard may soon be joined a new skyscraper called the Tulip.

Revealing the plans for the new tower, architects Foster + Partners said the proposed structure would be a “public cultural attraction” without any office space. If approved, it will be built next to 30 St Mary Axe, or the Gherkin, which the firm also designed.

At 1,000ft (305 metres) tall, the Tulip would be the UK’s second-tallest skyscraper, after the 1,003ft (306-metre) Shard.

Jacob J. Safra, owner of Bury Street Properties, will fund the proposed development. The billionaire banker also financed the construction of the Gherkin.

“The Tulip’s elegance and soft strength complements the iconic Gherkin,” Safra told the BBC.  

The design features “internal slides and moving transparent pods running outside the building for visitors to ride in”, the news site reports.

The UK’s current second-tallest skyscraper is One Canada Square. The 1991 office building, located in Canary Wharf, East London, would be dwarfed by the Tulip, measuring in at 774ft (236 metres).

Additional upcoming London skyscrapers include the Scalpel, which will be 630ft (192 metres) tall. Owned by the W.R. Berkley Corporation, construction of the site, at 52-54 Lime Street, is set to finish in the spring. 

Outside London, a proposed tower, Trinity Islands-Tower X, will be the first to compete against the capital’s skyscrapers. According to The Skyscraper Center, a global database on tall buildings, the proposed development in Manchester is set to be 700ft (213 metres).

If planning permission is granted for the Tulip, construction would begin in 2020 and could be completed by 2025.

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