The Tulip Tower Gets Axed

London mayor Sadiq Khan has dismissed plans to build the Tulip Tower, a controversial supertall designed by Foster + Partners.

Rendering courtesy of Foster + Partners

One of Norman Foster’s most controversial buildings has been nipped in the bud. Plans to build the Tulip Tower, designed by Foster + Partners, have been rejected by London Mayor Sadiq Khan. The tower, which was slated to rise nearly 1,000 feet in the heart of London, was rejected for providing “very limited public benefit” and that it was not the “world-class architecture that would be required to justify its prominence.” Khan further remarked that the Tulip Tower’s design is of “insufficient quality for such a prominent location” and would “result in an unwelcoming, poorly designed public space at street level.” Yikes. 

According to the structure’s website, the bulbous monolithic building would offer panoramic views and gondola rides that ferry visitors in a loop around the building. The mayor’s office, however, found multiple issues with the project—one being that the structure would do “significant harm” to the Tower of London World Heritage Site, which sits nearby on the Thames. Norman Foster defended the concept earlier this year, remarking that it had the chance to become a “world symbol of London.” If construction had gone according to plan, the Tulip Tower would have risen alongside 30 Mary St Axe—another building by Foster + Partners. The latter, however, received a RIBA Stirling Prize, and has never been critiqued as “Instagram architecture at its emptiest.”

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