Moscow has set out to break its own record for the city's tallest building with plans to construct a new "supertall" skyscraper. City officials have given the project the go-ahead and construction will begin next year with the building projected to be open in 2024.
How big is this "supertall" structure going to be? Designs on architect Sergey Shuratov's website depict the new residential complex measuring it at 404 meters (1,325 feet) in height with 109 floors, effectively beating out the city's previous record-holder, Federation Tower, which stands at 373 meters (1,226 feet). The currently unnamed new high-rise building will join several others in the commercial district known as Moscow City. Five structures in this area are included in the list of Europe's ten tallest buildings. The "supertall" distinction is given to structures rising 300 meters or higher.
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Designs break the structure up into two parts: at the bottom, a 12-story base structure will house offices, a shopping center, and other commercial facilities, as well as apartments measuring about 65 to 180 sq meters (700 to 1,937 sq feet). At the very top will be a helipad and an observation point on the 104th floor so people can enjoy the lofty view.
"The plan of the building is an isosceles (trapezoid) 30 meters wide, truncated on one side, facing the Moskva River," Skuratov told Arch Daily. "The sloping edge on the west side of the tower follows the direction of one of the nearby streets. The other edge is vertical and points toward the center of Moscow."
Although the building will steal the tallest-tower crown in the city, it will actually only be Europe's second tallest building, with the Lakhta Center in Saint Petersburg set to reign supreme at 462.5 meters (1,516 feet), once construction is completed in 2019. The Lakhta Center is a unique spectacle of architectural design, and not just because of its incredible height.
The structure tapers to a point with a 90-degree twist starting from the very bottom all the way to the top, making it world's second most extreme twist on a tower after Shangai Tower, which twists at 120-degrees. Worldwide, Moscow's new structure will settle comfortably into 32nd place for the tallest building, between the Two International Finance Centre in Hong Kong and China Resources Headquarters. New York City's Empire State Building, which once held first place on the list from 1931 until 1970, now resides at 40th place.
This "supertall" building is sure to be an excellent addition to the city's already impressive skyline and will further establish Moscow as the European capital of skyscrapers. But those skyscrapers don't necessarily have to all be "supertall." In March, the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron unveiled their plans for what they call a "horizontal skyscraper" out of six acres of old factory area in Moscow's brewery district. Rather than rising up to the clouds, these two apartment blocks will be made up of buildings that have been elevated on a cluster of slender stilts — essentially, as the firm describes it, "a piece of city lifted up in the air." Whether way up in the sky or just a little bit closer to the ground, Moscow's skyscrapers (current and planned) promise to delight the little architect inside all of us who just loves to witness the world's most spectacular structures.