Current Affairs

Planners approve London’s ‘giant sperm’ tower

Ella Braidwood April 2, 2019
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London's Tulip tower

Planners have given the green light for a new London skyscraper, nicknamed The Tulip, which has been likened to a “giant sperm” by social media users.

The City of London’s planning committee approved plans for the 305-metre tall tower, which will primarily serve as a tourist attraction, in Bury Street on Tuesday (April 2).

However, the plans still need to be given the thumbs up by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan if the building in London’s Square Mile is to go ahead.

The Greater London Authority (GLA), which has criticised the design of the tower, has 14 days to respond to the decision.

The design of the tower has also been opposed by heritage groups, including Historic England.

Architects submitted plans for the tower—set to become the tallest building in the City of London—back in November.

The blueprints for The Tulip were drawn up by leading architectural firm Foster + Partners, which said in a press release that the tip of the tower took on a “soft bud-like form.”

London Tulip skyscraper looks like a “giant sperm,” says Twitter

Norman Foster, founder of Foster + Partners, said the tower would demonstrate how London is “a progressive, forward thinking city.”

But, when designs for the architecture were first revealed in November, Twitter users were quick to point out that the skyscraper resembles an enormous sperm.

“Looks a bit like a giant sperm to me,” wrote on person.

Another said: “Looking forward to absolutely no-one referring to the sperm as ‘the tulip.’”

Twitter user calls new London skyscraper as "sperm"
Twitter users compared the tower to a huge sperm.(idvck/Twitter)

And one person posted: “#Tulip ? Shooting Sperm more like.”

One Twitter user, meanwhile, said that the proposed architecture looked like a butt plug.

“London Plans to build 1000ft Butt Plug,” they wrote.

Construction work on the skyscraper is set to start in 2020 with a completion date scheduled for 2025.

The Tulip will tower over the City of London

Foster + Partners has designed another phallic-looking skyscraper in the City of London—the 41-storey 30 St Mary Axe, which is more commonly known by its nickname The Gherkin.

If the plans go ahead, The Tulip and The Gherkin will sit side-by-side in the same cluster of skyscrapers in the City of London.

The 1,000-foot glass tower will be just three feet shorter than The Shard, which is the tallest building in the UK.

The skyscraper would mainly be used as a visitor attraction, featuring a restaurant, internal slides and moving see-through pods.

It would also act as an educational facility and accommodate around 20,000 free trips for school children each year.

Foster said in a statement the building’s versatile uses are meant to serve both those who live in the British capital and those who come to visit the city.

“It offers significant benefits to Londoners and visitors as a cultural and social landmark with unmatched educational resources for future generations.”

Architects also want the floral-inspired structure to contribute to London’s sustainability objectives.

“A new pocket park is proposed alongside a two-storey pavilion offering a publicly accessible rooftop garden. Together with green walls this increases the site’s green surface area by 8.5 times, supporting the Mayor’s goal for London to be the world’s first National Park City,” they said.

More: Architecture, building

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