Safra Group, Foster + Partners plan new cultural and tourist attraction in London


November , 2018 – J Safra Group and Foster + Partners have submitted a planning application to the City of London Corporation for the construction of The Tulip, a public cultural attraction, which would be located adjacent to 30 St Mary Axe, also known as The Gherkin.

J Safra Group and Foster + Partners are the owners and architects, respectively, of 30 St Mary Axe.


The Tulip, which derives its name from its nature-inspired form, will offer a modern cultural and educational resource for Londoners and tourists.

The City of London Corporation has been inviting proposals to create a Culture Mile with latest tourist facilities in the Square Mile and the proposal for a 305.3-metre-high visitor attraction promises wide cultural and economic benefits with a diverse programme of events.

The J Safra Group will provide an education facility within the top of The Tulip, which will offer 20,000 free places per year for London’s state school children and deliver national curriculum topics using innovative tools.

The Tulip will provide a vantage point to view London from a height of 300 metres. The viewing galleries will feature sky bridges, internal glass slides and gondola pod rides on the building’s façade.

Visitors will be able to learn about the history of London through interactive materials and briefings from expert guides.

The Tulip will also accommodate a sky bar and restaurants with 360-degree views of the city.


To expand the site’s public realms, a pocket park has been proposed alongside a two-storey pavilion offering a publicly accessible rooftop garden.

Public access will be improved with the removal of more than half of the perimeter walls around The Gherkin.


With a soft bud-like form and minimal building footprint, The Tulip will feature high-performance glass and optimised building systems, reducing its energy consumption.

Heating and cooling will be provided by zero combustion technology and integrated photovoltaic cells will generate energy on site.

The Tulip and The Gherkin are expected to create opportunities for a range of businesses, bringing economic and social benefits for the local community and for London.

The planning application has been submitted in the name of Bury Street Properties (Luxembourg).


Subject to the planning approval process, construction is expected to begin in 2020 with completion projected for 2025.



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