Page 27 - Engineering Career Guide for UT Austin
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  London Reaches Ever Upward
  And relies on structural engineers to make it happen.
London is famous for amazing skyscrapers, from The Shard to The Gherkin. Next up on the hori- zon: The Tulip, which, at 1,001 feet, promises to be the tallest yet. Designed at the global architectural studio Foster + Partners, The Tulip’s design makes for a minimal building footprint and, ac- cording to Foster + Partners, will use fewer resources, with high-performance glass, heating and cooling systems pro- vided by zero combustion technology, and integrated photovoltaic cells gener- ating energy on site. But The Tulip is also designed to attract visitors, with 360-degree viewing galleries, bars and restaurants, internal “sky bridges,” and external gondola pods that rotate like Ferris wheels. Plus, the architects prom- ise that The Tulip will be a “classroom in the sky” with a high-tech educational center that London schools could use free of charge for educational, cultural, and tech events.
But how do you engineer this revolu- tionary design? Foster + Partners em- ploys many structural and environmen- tal engineers who work alongside the architects to develop fully integrated construction plans. Steel was chosen for the tower’s top framing for the lightness and versatility needed to form The Tu- lip’s unique geometry. Floors at the top of the tower will be made of composite slabs supported by the steel frame. Con- crete buttresses at the tower’s base are for stiffening the base and reducing bending. Assuming planning permission for the tower is granted, construction is planned to begin in 2020 with the proj- ect due for completion in 2025. Foster + Partners intends The Tulip to comple- ment The Gherkin next door, which it also designed, even if flowers aren’t usually paired with pickles!

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