The historic city of St. Petersburg in Russia will soon be home to the tallest tower in Europe. The UK-based architectural firm RMJM was given a go by the Russian gas giant to build the new Gazprom Neft headquarters in the former Russian capital. Officially called the Okhta Tower, the eco skyscraper is promising to be “one of the most environmentally sustainable high rise buildings in the world,” according to the RMJM’s press release.
The Gazprom Tower’s design inspiration came from the concept of energy in the water, namely St. Petersburg’s River Neva, the ever changing nature of water’s light; reflections and refractions can be seen in the renderings. The building’s five sides will “twist” as they reach for the sky.
But it’s not all show- the Okhta Tower will be a green tower inside and out. The exoskeleton, dubbed as low energy ‘fur coat’, will consist of two layers of glazed glass ‘skin’ with atrium between inner and outer walls. This buffer zone will supply the building with natural ventilation, sunlight for interior lighting and at the same time will act as a thermal insulation by keeping the structure warm during fierce minus 30 degrees Russian winters. The buffer zone concept is similar to what will be used in the world’s biggest building, “Crystal Island,” which is currently being built in Moscow.
The office floor plans will also feature a large number of social spaces and green zones that will allow the workers to access leisure areas without wasting energy by using elevators for vertical transportation. Lastly, Cartwright mentioned that the project’s intelligent facade, specialized water, heating and ventilation solutions will help make it an exemplary high rise project that other design firms will hopefully follow.