Growing up: 'Tulip Tower' gets green light for London
Billionaire Joseph Safra has won initial approval to build a 305m (1,000-ft) tower in the shape of a tulip next to his Gherkin skyscraper in London's financial district.
The City of London Corporation's Planning and Transportation Committee waved through the design by architects Foster + Partners.
The plans for a slender tower topped with a glass dome could now be subject to further approval before work can begin. "This is clearly a unique and very unorthodox proposal,'' Gwyn Richards, the corporation's head of design said before the vote. "We believe it deserves its place on the skyline."
The Gherkin, which Mr Safra bought for about £726m (€848m) in 2014, was among the first of a new generation of skyscrapers built in London's Square Mile after new planning rules were ushered in by former Mayor Ken Livingstone following his election in 2000.
Approval of the plans would likely increase the value of the Gherkin and the land around it.
The Tulip would offer visitors rides in so-called gondola pods that loop around the outside of the building's glass petals.