The Tulip, as the tower is called, is the proposal of J Safra Group and Foster & Partners, respectively the owner and architect of the neighbouring 30 St Mary Axe building, better known as the Gherkin.
Joseph Safra is a billionaire Brazilian banker of Lebanese Syrian origin.
The City Corporation’s planning and transportation committee yesterday voted 18-7 to approve the project.
The Tulip will include a viewing platform with rotating pods, a restaurant and sky bar, cycle parking and shower facilities, a new pocket park at street level, publicly accessible rooftop terrace, and a floor dedicated to education facilities during school hours, which by day will serve as a resource for local community groups and charities.
The development was approved with a number of planning conditions to limit any potential adverse impact to the community. These include off-peak servicing to limit the number of vehicle deliveries at busy times, ticket sale restrictions during peak hours to avoid pedestrian congestion, accessible facilities for disabled persons, concessions for young children, students and senior citizens, and internal and external security measures.
Planning committee chairman Chris Hayward said: “After a lengthy and robust debate, the committee agreed to approve this truly unique visitor attraction. One of my key objectives as chairman of the planning and transportation committee has been to enable the continued transformation of the City of London into a place which welcomes members of the public on weekends as during the week. This building has the potential to play an important role in realising our vision of the Square Mile as a vibrant 24/7 city.”
Architect Norman Foster said: “Continuing the pioneering design of 30 St Mary Axe, the Tulip is in the spirit of London as a progressive, forward-thinking city. It offers significant benefits to Londoners and visitors as a cultural and social landmark with unmatched educational resources for future generations.”
Jacob Safra said: “The Tulip’s elegance and soft strength complements the iconic Gherkin. We are confident in London’s role as a global city and are proud to offer its schoolchildren a state-of-the-art classroom in the sky to appreciate London’s history and dynamism.”