There’s nothing like a staggering view from the top of a city building. Night or day, tall buildings offer totally a different perspective on their surroundings and give the skyline a fresh outline.
The Tulip by J. Safra Group and Foster + Partners
November this year saw a planning application submitted to the City of London Corporation for The Tulip, a new public, cultural attraction proposed as a neighbour to 30 St Mary Axe, also known as The Gherkin. The project is proposed by J. Safra Group and Foster + Partners, owners and architects respectively of this site and The Gherkin.
The developers and their architects say the 305.3-metre-high building would be the perfect addition to the City of London Corporation’s vision for a Culture Mile in the City incorporating world-class tourist and community facilities. These include ‘a classroom in the sky’ offering 20,000 free places per year for London’s state school children, which promises national curriculum topics using innovative tools to bring to life the city’s history and dynamism.
Of course, the stand-out attraction of The Tulip will be the view. Viewing galleries will incorporate sky bridges, internal glass slides and gondola pod rides on the building’s façade designed to appeal to people across all age groups. Norman Foster, founder, and executive chairman, Foster + Partners says: “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.”
Fenix Warehouse by MAD Architects
MAD Architects has been commissioned by the Droom en Daad Foundation – the Rotterdam art and culture organisation, to design a panoramic viewing platform on top of the historic Fenix warehouse in the city. Rotterdam-based company Bureau Polderman will be responsible for restoring the historic warehouse on the Katendrecht peninsula on the southern banks of the city port and once home to one of the oldest Chinatowns in Europe. In honour of the building’s history, it is the first public, cultural building in Europe to be designed by a Chinese architectural agency. In addition to the platform, MAD will design a theatrical staircase and public atrium to merge the ground and first floors with the observation deck on the roof. The newly restored building will be used to highlight Rotterdam’s history of migration – in fact, millions of migrants left Europe from there, most of whom were heading for New York’s Ellis Island.
The Titlis Gondola by Herzog & de Meuron Architects
If you are in Switzerland then try to fit in a visit to The Titlis. At an altitude of more than 3000m (10,000ft), it attracts tourists from all over the world to enjoy the overwhelmingly beautiful view of the mountains in both summer and during the winter ski season. The summit station of the gondola (rotair) was built in 1967 and has since been expanded and renovated several times, resulting in an architectural conglomerate. Recently, Herzog & de Meuron architects were commissioned to renovate the summit-station and activate the tower for tourism as part of a masterplan for the entire summit. The new gondola station is like a flat crystal growing out of the mountain with a low-lying silhouette and will house a restaurant and bar with panoramic views.