London's latest novelty skyscraper plan is a giant tulip.
The proposal, by Foster + Partners, would plonk a 305 metre observation tower next to the Gherkin (designed by the same architects).
That height would make this the tallest structure in the City of London, and just a fraction shy of the country's tallest building, the Shard (weirdly shrunken in the image below).
The tower's apex offers striking similarities to the Gherkin. In one render it resembles a fungal growth, pushing out of the older skyscraper like a fruiting body laden with spores. But call it The Tulip if you must.
The planning application calls for a public roof terrace, bar, restaurant and 360 degree viewing gallery. It has to be tall. The growth of the Square Mile is such that once lofty towers are now lost in a crystal forest. Still, this peeking polyp might serve as a useful signpost for anybody looking for the now-obscured Gherkin.
Despite the snarky, mycological comments, we rather like the design, which adds a rounded pinnacle to an increasingly blocky skyline. This could be a 21st century BT Tower if it wins favour with the public. (And note how that '60s building is included in the top render, to suggest comparison.)
Even so, one has to question whether yet another novelty tower with viewing gallery can find an audience in a city with a glut of such things. As one cynical commenter in the Architects' Journal website puts it: 'Another bauble on a dying Christmas tree with its needles falling off.'
If approval is granted, the scheme could be built between 2020 and 2025.