After a failed start as the Okhta Center the Gazprom tower in the newest project renamed the “Lakhta Center” has been given approval to be built in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. This beautiful historic city will soon be home to the tallest Skyscraper in Europe. The failed project was to be build in the mouth of the river Okhta, on the right bank of the river Neva. The newest project will be built on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. 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 inspiration for the tower’s design came from the the Neva river, from the ever changing nature of water’s light. It’s the energy from the water, the reflections and refractions that gave way to the styling of tower. The building’s five sides will “twist” as they reach for the sky. The proposed twisting tower also received some of it’s inspiration from a Swedish fortress named Landskrona, which occupied the site in early 14th century, and another fortress Nyenschantz on the site until 18th century in the form of a five-sided star to maximise views for defensive purposes. Though this project has not been well received a good response from the architectural community they are much happier that the new project will not be in the center of St. Petersburg. The original project was slated for the tower to reach 400 meters which now will climb to 500 meters.
But it’s not all show- the Lakhta 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 being built in Moscow.
Pictured above is a RMJM Modeler who created the working model for the project (which by the way is for sale) The office floor plans will also feature a large number of social spaces and green zones that will allow the workers to use leisure areas without wasting energy by using elevators for vertical transportation. Lastly, Cartwright mentioned that the project’s intelligent façade, specialized water, heating and ventilation solutions will help make it an exemplary high rise project that other design firms will hopefully follow