Illustration of The Tulip and skyline of London

The Tulip is a new public cultural and tourist attraction for London, combining both heritage and modernity. Planned to be built next to The Gherkin, it enhances one of the capital’s most cherished icons.


The Tulip is a showcase for London’s world-leading expertise in education, culture, business and architecture. This unique visitor attraction will deliver economic and social benefits to London and across the UK. The Tulip offers a free state-of-the-art education facility for schoolchildren, and provides a memorable and informative experience for visitors about London’s history and dynamism. At ground floor level, there will be an array of improvements to the public realm that deliver accessibility for all.


The Tulip Project Team has submitted a planning appeal against the July 2019 decision by the Mayor of London to direct refusal of planning permission. A Public Inquiry will take place in the middle of 2020.

The Tulip

Illustration of The Tulip and City of London

“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.” Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners

“We are delighted to benefit from the exceptional talent of Foster + Partners in bringing to London this world-class visitor attraction. 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.” Jacob J. Safra

Bird’s Eye Illustration of The Tulip and The Gherkin

A unique public attraction in London’s Square Mile

Combining high-tech with heritage, The Tulip will grow in the heart of the old City of London. It would be built next to the Gherkin, enhancing one of the capital's most cherished and iconic buildings while respecting its historic setting.

Location: land next to 20 Bury Street, London, EC3A 5AX, adjacent to 30 St Mary Axe.

Classrooms in the sky

A key feature will be the education and community facility within the top of The Tulip, free for use by at least 40,000 London state school children a year. This educational resource, provided by the J. Safra Group, will offer 360-degree views and deliver national curriculum topics using innovative tools to bring to life the city’s history and dynamism, inspiring the creative young minds of tomorrow.

Illustration of The Tulip’s Education Facility

Enhancing public space & vibrancy in the city

From a height of about 300 metres, visitors will enjoy stunning panoramic views across Greater London. Gondola pod rides will transport you outside in an exhilarating loop around The Tulip’s glass petals. Inside the 12 floors at the top, visitors can stroll across the Sky Bridge and enjoy the thrill of sliding between floors. Curated viewing spaces with interactive material, plus talks from expert guides, will bring the history of London alive. A range of dining and hospitality options will be offered.

The Tulip will be an outstanding venue to host cultural, educational, business and technology events. It will provide inclusive opportunities for all: schoolchildren, families, community groups, workers and visitors. The Tulip will support The City of London Corporation’s proposals to transform the City into a 24/7 district by diversifying its night-time and weekend offer to residents and visitors, expanding beyond its workday populations.

Investing in growth across London and uk

The Tulip would deliver economic benefits worth £1.6 billion to the City, Greater London, and the UK. It represents a substantial direct investment in London's education, cultural, historical and leisure facilities and is a long-term vote of confidence, reinforcing its position as a leading World City. Over 1,000 new jobs and opportunities will be created directly and as part of a wider ripple across London and the country.

Illustration of The Tulip’s Gondola Rides

Public engagement

During the planning application process, The Tulip Project team engaged with a significant number of local stakeholders including heritage bodies, schools, businesses and residents in the City and neighbouring boroughs. There were 11 public exhibitions between December 2018 and March 2019, attended by 593 people of which 127 provided feedback. 12 educational advisors, including teachers from local schools, attended a round-table discussion on 27 February 2019 to discuss the best-use of the education space. Overall, the project team received over 3,000 letters of support for The Tulip.

Press release JANUARY 2020

Appeal launched to secure planning permission for The Tulip, a unique educational and cultural resource and new symbol of confidence in London and the UK.

Press Release PDF

Statement JULY 2019

Statement in response to The Mayor of London’s letter on 15 July 2019 announcing his decision regarding planning permission:

“The Tulip Project team are disappointed by The Mayor of London’s decision to direct refusal of planning permission, particularly as The Tulip will generate immediate and longer-term socio-economic benefits to London and the UK as a whole. We will now take time to consider potential next steps for The Tulip Project.”

Press Release JUNE 2019

A second representative poll of Londoners, conducted by ComRes, a leading independent research consultancy, finds seven out of ten London adults (69%) think that The Tulip, a unique 305.3-metre-high (1,000 ft) visitor attraction, would be an iconic addition to the London skyline. The majority of respondents continue to back The Tulip, with two thirds (65%) agreeing that the visitor attraction would be an attractive addition to the London skyline.

Press Release PDF

Press Release APRIL 2019

The Tulip Project welcomes the City of London Planning and Transportation Committee resolution to grant planning permission for construction of The Tulip, which would be sited next to 30 St Mary Axe, also known as The Gherkin.

Press Release PDF

Press Release MARCH 2019

City of London planning officers’ report recommends Planning and Transportation Committee resolve to grant planning permission for The Tulip.

Press Release PDF

Press Release FEBRUARY 2019

The Tulip estimated to offer economic benefits to London of nearly £1 billion and 600 full time jobs.

Press Release PDF

Press Release JANUARY 2019

Independent poll confirms two thirds of Londoners support The Tulip.

Press Release PDF

Press Release NOVEMBER 2018

On 13 November 2018, a planning application for The Tulip was filed with the City of London on behalf of the J. Safra Group and the world leading architects, Foster + Partners, owners and architects respectively of The Gherkin.

Press Release PDF

Fact Sheet

Please download useful information about The Tulip’s dimensions, design, facilities and sustainability features

Fact Sheet PDF

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