Blossoming alongside the iconic Gherkin building, Foster + Partners' Tulip Tower has been planning to join London's skyline since they released their proposal earlier in November. However, construction of the1,000-foot tower has been halted until officials can determine its impact on aircraft radar systems at London City airport, six miles away. Featuring mobile gondolas in the form of three-meter wide glass spheres intended for visitor rides on an elliptical journey around the tower, the proposed viewing platform is potentially highly problematic.
Though London is not new to mobile structures, such as the London Eye that sits in the midst of the city, Foster + Partners proposal is over twice its size. The movement from the gondolas can confuse the air traffic control systems, according to the technical experts at London City airport, who stated, "The gondolas will be moving and therefore may have a slightly different effect than a static element of the building."
In a global city like London, it would seem that a major addition to the skyline would face greater zoning standards or building regulations in the initial design stage itself, that would prohibit such a situation from occurring. Rather than being unprecedented, designing moving structures at such a height is deemed to be an obvious source of issue for any project whether or not there is an airport nearby.
Not only posing risks in the airspace, but the building's design itself has also attracted opposition from residents and members on the planning committee. Anastasia Shteyn, during a City of London public consultation, commented: “I don’t understand why we need this phallic-shaped attraction, with little aesthetic merit. As a resident of Petticoat Tower, I object to this construction project. It will create noise and turn the neighborhood into a construction site for years to come, affecting property prices and residents’ daily comfort.”
The project, with its provocative design, is sure to instigate some objections and promises for an interesting turn of outcomes.
News via The Guardian