• Kevin Murphy

London: The Can of Ham & The Tulip

London over the years has become home to a number of unique tall buildings including the Leadenhall Building known to locals as the ‘Cheese Grater’, the 37-storey office block 20 Fenchurch Street often referred to as the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ and the tallest one of all the glass 95-storey the Shard known for its amazing city views and very pricey apartments. The Tulip project would be the second tallest building in the city.

Not surprising new developments with their unique descriptions are now on the London landscape.

On 13 November 2018 an application was submitted to the City of London Corporation a planned new cultural attraction-The Tulip which would be the second tallest building in the city.

The Tulip, London

J. Safra Group an American finance and property company and Foster + Partners are proposing the plan to enhance the area as a state-of-the-art 305 meter platform for a cultural and educational experience for locals and visitors. The towers would be somewhat similar to other viewing platforms in Berlin or Seattle with a 360-degree views of the city.

On top of The Tulip will be an educational section for 20,000 free spaces available to school children provided by the J. Safra Group with an enhanced curriculum to inspire young students.

The tower will feature viewing galleries along with sky bridges, gondola pod rides and interactive materials on teaching London’s history. And of course a ‘sky bar’ and restaurants will be available to enjoy the views. Completion is expected upon approval in 2025.

But the proposal has its critics as The Telegraph reports:

‘Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) has objected to the building of a new "attention-seeking" skyscraper, claiming it would overshadow the Tower of London and from its prominence in the city's skyline.’

The HRP which is the owner of the Tower of London calls the The Tulip an ‘intrusion’ to the surrounding area.

An objection to the planning has been made to the City of London Corporation stating:

"The proposed Tulip development will be extremely damaging to the setting of the Tower of London.”

"We believe it would diminish a key attribute of the Tower's Outstanding Universal Value, challenging the Tower's eminence as an iconic, internationally focus monument.”

"We do not believe that the claimed public benefit of the proposed development would outweigh the potential harm to the Tower of London.”

"The height and attention-seeking nature of the Tulip's design would make it the most visually intrusive element of the cluster in these views. Its effect would be both major and adverse."

Responding to the HRC Foster + Partners, said :

"We recognise the position of Historic Royal Palaces as an important local stakeholder whom we engaged with prior to the submission of this planning application.”

"We will continue to work with the City of London Corporation and stakeholders to address these comments as part of the planning process."

Adjacent to the The Tulip is 70 St. Mary Axe often referred to as The Gherkin and as the Can of Ham.

This new property features 300,00 square feet of premium office space covering 21-storeys with two levels for retail outlets was developed by TIAA Henderson Real Estate.

The Gherkin or Can of Ham

Dezeen reports:

‘Foggo Associates developed vertical shading fins to wrap around the curved outer walls, while the glazed end elevations are engineered to reduce solar gain.’

One of the unusual aspects besides the building shape is the use of cladding.

Nick Moore a Director at Mace the buildings contractor tells building.co.uk:

“Because of the shape of the building we’ve had to clad progressively up from the ground floor on the north and south elevations because if we’d started the install at level 2, we would not have been able to fit the ground floor cladding.”

“All of the vertical ribs have to be aligned exactly, which is why we are so concerned about accuracy.”

Focchi S.p.A. a leading company in the curtain walling sector:

“The height and shape of the building have been developed to create a distinctive geometry in response to strategic local views. Vertical shading fins to the curved facades and glazed double wall cladding to the end elevations reduce solar heat gains to the office space. Other low energy measures, such as borehole thermal energy storage and energy piles, result in a design with very low carbon emissions.”

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