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Sadiq Khan is right – the Tulip was another tower London didn’t need

Plans for the Tulip skyscraper have been vetoed by London's Mayor Sadiq Khan
Plans for the Tulip skyscraper have been vetoed by London's Mayor Sadiq Khan Credit: PA

It has been 15 years since work was completed on 30 St Mary Axe, the dramatically bulbous skyscraper designed by the office of Norman Foster and universally known as the Gherkin. It’s one of the defining buildings of 21st-century London, so last year’s revelation that Foster had developed plans for a considerably taller tower just metres away from this seminal project was met with incredulity and dismay. 

Unlike every other tower in the Square Mile, the 305-metre-high Tulip was not envisaged as an office building, merely as a tourist attraction. Shoehorned onto a patch of the Gherkin’s forecourt, it would have comprised a slender structural core that swelled into a series of viewing platforms...

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