Who needs Charlie’s glass elevator? You will soon be able to see all of London from the top of a giant glass tulip.
Plans are now underway to build a 1,001-foot-tall floral-shaped structure that will offer some seriously impressive views of the English capital. The London-based architecture firm Foster + Partners filed a planning application with the city last November for the new public attraction and cultural center. If approved, it will be situated next to The Gherkin at 30 St. Mary Axe.—London’s 500,000-square-foot modern skyscraper. The main attraction of The Tulip, outside of its wildly modern structural shape mimicking the flower, is a view of the entire city from a height of 984 feet. That vista will be proffered from sky bridges, internal glass slides, and gondola pod rides. The pods will be moving structures along the exterior of the building. If you have a fear of heights, steer clear—otherwise expect this to be the absolute height of London’s tourist attractions. The structure will also house a sky bar and restaurants with 360-degree views of the city, rivaling some of the best scenic dining views around the globe.
But the giant bloom will be more than a boom to London’s already robust tourism industry—the proposed building will also be a school. Each year, 20,000 state school children will be offered the incredible opportunity to be enrolled in The Tulip’s educational facility in the sky. Math doesn’t seem like such a drag when you’re more than 1,000 feet up in the air in a giant glass flower—maybe recess includes a ride on one of the building’s internal glass slides? The education will be provided by J. Safra group and will offer a national curriculum using innovative tools that will reportedly “bring to life” the city’s history in state-of-the-art classrooms in the sky.
Other goodwill cultural projects include a small park next to a two-story pavilion that will offer access to a rooftop garden, both available to the public. That portion of this project will require the removal of over half of the existing walls around The Tulip’s neighboring Gherkin building. And to top it off, the building will be energy efficient, thanks not only to its unusual shape, which reduces its footprint, but also to its high-performance glass, which optimizes the building’s internal systems to reduce energy consumption. Heating and cooling will operate through zero combustion technology.
The Tulip also plans to be a hub for educational, business, and technology events at all hours, seven days a week. Once approved, the building is slated to begin construction in 2020 with a target completion date of 2025.