Gallery: New Gazprom Tower To Be Europe’s Tallest & Greenest?


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.

+ St Petersburg Competition – Gazprom Tower

+ Architect claims Europe’s tallest tower will be among world’s most sustainable buildings.


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  1. Strannik October 14, 2009 at 7:51 pm
  2. mpereira October 1, 2009 at 9:49 am

    This project is a violation of all the cultural and architectural traditions of Saint-Petersburg. Not only it will change the classical ensamble of the city, but will be built on the territory of Nyenskans fortress (XVII c.), the spot of archaeological excavations protcted by UNESCO.
    The city inhabitants and activists, as long as a large number of artists and politicians protest against this monstrous skyscraper!

  3. popeye01 September 29, 2008 at 2:39 am

    OK Firstly Russia is now part of the European federation so therefore technically Europe
    Secondly to create truly environmentally friendly buildings then height is an advantage by using the south facing elements for either photovoltaic or solar panels the suns power can be used to heat cool and supply electricity to the building.
    As for the build environment i feel the architects have taken a lot of the existing elements of St Peters burg into account and created a building that will work not only for the client but also for the local environment. To build such a design is creative and objective is one of the most difficult things to do so therefore i feel here the best possible result has been achieved. if anyone feels they can do better then please lets see your submissions

  4. Okhta Tower, St. Peters... March 8, 2008 at 8:55 am

    […] (via: Inhabitat) […]

  5. Ivan March 4, 2008 at 1:16 am

    St. Petersburg is in Europe. You seriously need some geography lessons.

  6. baby March 3, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Great website!! keep up!!

  7. Max Malein March 3, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    2Teo and davidinbali: Take a couple of lessons in geography
    2lucy Rogers: The inspiration came from a flame (it is for GAZprom)

    Nice tower but WRONG place!!! Put the Swiss re in Venice and it will suck too.

  8. Teo February 28, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    St. Petersburg is not in Europe.

  9. Dee February 26, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Tall buildings green – an Oxymoron.

  10. Robert February 26, 2008 at 11:49 am

    “Tallest tower in Europe” and “most sustainable” are contradictions in terms. When will the glitz and glam architects start to Get It? It’s more than a “techno” world out there.

  11. lucy Rogers February 26, 2008 at 5:35 am

    The tower looks like a taller version of the Swiss re tower in London!I wonder where the inspiration came from

  12. Derrick February 26, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Nice stuff man. With all that light coming in, wouldn’t the heat come in too? And subsequently require more air conditioning bills?

  13. Peter February 26, 2008 at 2:00 am

    While I’m glad to see environmentally friendly building taking centre stage, I agree with the others – this building will really change the landscape of historic St Petersburg, which is quite a shame, considering how beautiful it is. It threatens UNESCO’s World Heritage Listing.

  14. davidinbali February 26, 2008 at 12:39 am

    Exactly when did they move St. Petersburg to Europe?

  15. InfiniteDomain February 25, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    WAH!! If we didn’t start over now and again… you’d still be living an eco-friendly mud hut.
    The past and future can and DO survive side by side in every city of the world.

  16. kj February 25, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    The URL for RMJM’s website is broken. It should be

  17. Trevor February 25, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    this building is amazing. how is the building powered. you guys probs already said it but i didnt read it. i want to base jump off this building it looks hella fun have fun with it

  18. btc February 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Shame on you. This promotes the destruction of historical center of St.Petersburg, which is now facing a large wave of protests from both ecologists and architects in Russia and beyond.

  19. Alexandra Lerman February 25, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Hopefully the tower will not ruin the classical skyline of the city. The center of the city is an architectural jewel and was preserved for a long time from high rise buildings, but now the laws are being broken and this tower might be a green, but dangerous aesthetic statement for the future of the city. I can only hope that myself and all those architectural preservation activists in St.-Petersburg are wrong.

  20. Jason Macosa February 25, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Beautiful building, however I find it ironic that one of the worlds largest polluters and non-eco friendly compliant companies is building a eco-friendly and sustainable tower.

  21. Arielle in NoVA February 25, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Beautiful, especially those lounge areas! Love the graceful shapes & the lighting inside and how it reflects the sun.

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