London city planners have given a controversial new landmark the green light.
Dubbed "The Tulip", the glass viewing tower will rise over 300 metres above the UK capital.
Designers Foster + Partners say the building will become western Europe's second-tallest tower and will only be beaten by the nearby "Shard" building.
"The Tulip would enhance The Gherkin, one of London's most cherished and recognisable buildings and offer a new state-of-the-art cultural and educational resource for Londoners and tourists," said the designers.
But the plans have not been without controversy. Some say the building will block views of the Tower of London, and there are concerns from London City airport that it would interfere with radar coverage, Reuters reported.
Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, told the Evening Standard: "This building – a lift shaft with a bulge on top – would damage the very thing its developers claim they will deliver – tourism and views of London's extraordinary heritage."
But the City of London has decided to give the go-ahead to the structure. It now goes before the mayor of London.
The building comprises a glass viewing platform; gondola pod rides on the façade and an education centre which will offer 20,000 free places per year for London's state school children.
Norman Foster, who is the founder and executive chairman of Foster + Partners said the building "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."
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