Gallery: Gazprom Tower Gets Green Light and Will Be Tallest Building in...

gazprom tower, okhta tower, russia, green building

Last year we reported on Okhta Tower, a new super eco-skyscraper located in St. Petersburg Russia. After months of push and shove, and mixed reception, the plan for this 77-storey tower designed by RMJM has finally gotten the green light to commence construction. The twisting tower will primarily serve as the headquarters to Gazprom’s oil unit OAO Gazprom Neft, with additional spaces dedicated to a concert hall, museum, hotel and a business center. Once constructed, it will become the tallest building in Europe, and one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings in the word.

The stunning design completed by architecture firm RMJM is about as green as it is tall. Eco-conscious features are highlighted by a double glass skin, where atriums have been positioned between inner and outer walls to provide natural ventilation, interior lighting and even thermal insulation for the merciless sub-zero Russian winters. Specialized water, heating and ventilation system have also been incorporated to reduce the energy needs of the building, and numerous social spaces and green zones have been set aside for the comfort and leisure of its occupants.

However, eco-friendly or not, the height is failing to impress many residents. The 400 meter building will be set within an urban fabric of low-rise structures and in fact trump the height of the revered spire of St. Peter and Paul Cathedral threefold. This point proves to be the biggest source of severe opposition by many residents who believe that the tower will alter the historic integrity and ambience of the city. David Sarkisyan, director of the Moscow Museum of Architecture, recently expressed to Bloomberg News “This is a monstrous, barbaric decision. This tower is a symbol of political ego and people will always resent it.”

 The city is also finding international resistance. St. Petersburg is currently listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, but stands to be stripped of the title if the tower is built. Nevertheless, there remain more than a handful of supporters who believe that the new tower will breathe new life into their depressed city.


Via World Architecture News


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  1. Bagishka October 21, 2009 at 6:47 am

    The tower is NOT 5 miles away from central St. Petersburg; the center is huge and there are places there that are indeed 5 miles away from the tower – but they are on the opposite end of the center! In actual fact, the place for the tower is just across the river from the eastern border of the historic center, opposite Smolny where the city government seats and the beautiful 18th century Smolny Cathedral. The fact that the tower would be well seen in a great number of St. Petersburg panoramas is not denied by even Gazprom itself, but it claims it will be “an architectural pearl” and won’t spoil the views, which does not mean it won’t be seen.
    And archaeological research has proven that the “disused industrial area” holds well-preserved remnants of a 17th century Swedish fortress, destroying which would be barbarous indeed.
    But since jh4761 has admitted honestly that he worked on the tower, reading his… erm, inaccuracies is no surprise.

  2. jh4761 October 19, 2009 at 4:19 am

    Haha, Strannik,

    I worked on this tower and all the buildings surrounding it. That “rutube” video is COMPLETELY innacurate. The height studies are totally wrong and fabricated to generate negative sentiments towards the project.

    What most people don’t know is that the tower is 5 miles away from central St. Petersburg, meaning it will barely be seen until you reach the edge of the river. On top of that, it’s being built on an old disused industrial area.

    Please do not spread innacuracies; they make us all look like idiots.

  3. Strannik October 14, 2009 at 7:58 pm
  4. Michael Kh. October 4, 2009 at 3:29 am

    Skycraper maby is good. But St. Petersburg is old city with old architecture. And if someone will build skycraper there it will change skyline in the bad way.
    And there are a lot of free space in Russia out of st. Petersburg to build somthing like that…

  5. mvddraw October 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    It is NOT a depressed city, …and supposing it were a depressed city, this tower won´t help, it is out of st petersburg scale

  6. drejto October 1, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I don’t know much about the climate of St. Petersburg, but I have to wonder how appropriate it is to build skyscrapers from only glass and steel there. I love the transparent nature of these new glass skyscrapers and offices, but I somehow doubt that a curtain wall, especially with the requisite thermal breaks from the steel supports, can reduce the heating and cooling demand compared with a conventional skyscraper with thicker, more resistant insulation

    I understand that this facade must substantially reduce lighting costs and that there are solar heat gains from the glass when it is sunny. However, I find it hard to believe that building and insulating with glass in a cold environment reduces total energy demand

    Regardless, it is a beautiful design. I just hope that when this is finished, the lights aren’t all left on at night like they are in the picture

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