Moscow greenlights its tallest skyscraper yet
Moscow officials have approved the construction of a new "supertall" building that will become the city's tallest skyscraper.
Measuring 404 meters (1,325 feet) in height, the as-yet-unnamed structure will join several other high-rise buildings in a commercial district known as Moscow City.
"We're at the end of the design stage, which should be finished by November 2018," said architect Sergey Skuratov in an email interview. "Construction should begin in 2019."
Set to open in 2024, the skyscraper will tower above Moscow's current tallest building, the 373-meter-tall (1,226 feet) Federation Tower, which is situated in the same district.
The design consists of two main volumes. A lower, 12-story structure will occupy the entirety of the building's narrow base -- which has a width of just 32 meters (104 feet) -- hosting a shopping center, office space and other commercial facilities.
The upper section will be mostly residential, with the tower extending up to the 104th floor. The design also features an observation deck at 399 meters (1,309 feet) and a helipad at the very top.
"The plan of the building is an isosceles (trapezoid) 30 meters wide, truncated on one side, facing the Moskva River," said Skuratov. "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."
The facade has been designed at a gradient, with white glass installed in the horizontal spaces between windows.
"This white space shrinks on the way up, and disappears by the 80th floor, which gives an effect of vanishing white color," said Skuratov. "Below, the skyscraper is bright, but it's completely dark at the top."
The Russian capital is already rich with skyscrapers. The Moscow City district currently hosts five of the ten tallest buildings in Europe, all of which can be categorized as "supertall" (those rising 300 meters or above).
Overall, the site includes two dozen completed buildings, with another dozen currently under construction. But the recent spate of new buildings has left the area lacking cohesion, according to Skuratov.
"Almost all of them, in my opinion, are too complicated and do not take into account their large accumulation and their influence on each other," he said. "Unfortunately, there is no general composition (or) initial idea."
The district's Federation Tower currently holds the title of Europe's tallest completed skyscraper, an accolade that will soon be taken by St. Petersburg's Lakhta Center, which is 462 meters tall and set to complete in 2019.
Upon completion, the newly approved Moscow tower will become Europe's second tallest building, although its architects say that its highest usable space (at 399 meters), will stand higher than that of the Lakhta Center, whose uninhabitable spire starts at 377 meters.