|Former names||Gazprom Tower, Okhta Center|
|Location||Lakhta, Saint Petersburg|
|Height||462 m (1,516 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||RMJM (until 2011), GORPROJECT|
|Architecture firm||RMJM (until 2011), GORPROJECT|
|Main contractor||Rönesans Holding|
The Lakhta Center (Russian: Ла́хта це́нтр, tr. Lakhta tsentr) is an 87-story skyscraper built in the outskirts of Lakhta in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Standing 462 metres (1,516 ft) tall, the Lakhta Center is the tallest building in Russia, the tallest building in Europe, and the 16th-tallest building in the world. The Lakhta Center is also the second-tallest structure in Russia and Europe, behind Ostankino Tower in Moscow.
Construction of Lakhta Center started on 30 October 2012; it was topped out on 29 January 2018. The Lakhta Center surpassed Vostok Tower of the Federation Towers in Moscow as the tallest building in Russia and Europe on 5 October 2017. The center is designed for large-scale mixed-use development, consisting of public facilities and offices. The building was designed by RMJM. The project was then continued by GORPROJECT (2011-2017) based on the RMJM Concept (2011) under the main contractor, Rönesans Holding. The Lakhta Center is intended to become the new headquarters of Russian energy company Gazprom.
On December 24, 2018, Lakhta Center was certified according to the criteria of ecological efficiency at LEED Platinum. The concrete pouring of the bottom slab of Lakhta Center's foundation was registered by Guinness World Records as the largest continuous concrete pour; 19,624 cubic meters of concrete were used, which is approximately 3,000 cubic meters more than in the previous similar record registered at Wilshire Grand Tower. The tower's curtain wall is also the world’s largest cold-bent facade by area.
The opening date of the complex will be determined after the completion of finishing and landscaping. The improvement of the embankments is planned to be completed at the end of 2020.
16 March 2012 it was announced that a new metro station was to be constructed near Lakhta Center. This metro station's building was included in the City development plan of Leningrad in 1980 but only with Lakhta Center construction it again entered the agenda. The plan of the metro station's construction was to be finalized by the end of 2012.
18 July 2012 companies chosen for geodesic and ecologic investigations on the site were announced. They were Trest GRII JSC (Russia) for geodesic and Petrochim-Technologiya, LLC (Russia) for ecologic investigations.
17 August 2012 the permit for construction of the first stage of Lakhta Center, which included skyscraper and stylobate was obtained. 31 August 2012 the public hearing on the topic of the layout and surveying of the site of the Lakhta Center was held in the administration of the Primorsky district of Saint Petersburg. Objects planned for placing in the area of construction, scheme of communications and transportation infrastructure were presented to the public. Besides, representatives of the Business and Public-service Center "Okhta" CJSC answered the questions of people.
Approximately 3000 people will be employed in the construction, mostly from professions relating to design and construction. After construction a few thousand workers of different occupations are expected to be employed in the complex.
Geodesic, ecologic and soil investigations and design documentation for the project are prepared by GORPROJECT (Russia), NIIOSP (Russia), Petrochim-technologiya LLC (Russia) and Trest GRII JSC (Russia). In planning and executing works at the underground cycle, piling and producing construction materials such companies as Arabtec (UAE), Bauer Group (Germany), Geostroy CJSC (Russia), Inforsproekt CJSC (Russia) and Renaissance Construction (Turkey) take part. Verification calculations, working documentation development, optimisation of processes and technical supervision are performed by Arup Group Limited (Great Britain), Samsung C&T (Korea) and Lend Lease Project Management & Construction (Great Britain). Project management is being done by AECOM (USA). Exclusiva Design (Italy) is key contractor for the interior design of public spaces. German company Josef Gartner is in charge for the glazing of the skyscraper. Glazed facades of Entrance Arch as well as parts of Multi-functional building are done by Waagner-Biro.
On 30 October 2012 the zero cycle works has been started. Zero cycle consists of the pit excavation, installation of the disk system, piling under the tower, multifunctional building and stylobate and construction of the foundation itself.
22 April 2014 the main potential general contractor for the construction of Lakhta Center was selected. It was Turkish Renaissance Construction company. 22 May 2014 the contract for the construction of the foundation of one of the buildings in Lakhta Center was finally signed.
Next to the already commissioned Lakhta Center, construction continues. To the four objects of the complex (tower, multi-purpose building, arch, stylobate) will be added one more. According to official documents, it takes place under the name "Complex of buildings and structures", or simply KZS.
The complex of buildings and structures is a single building consisting of two buildings connected by a courtyard. The authors of the project suggest that it will not only strengthen the office function of the Lakhta Center, but also complete the formation of the architectural ensemble, balancing the skyscraper in the horizontal. The total area of the Lakhta center premises is 400 thousand м². Later, the complex was expanded by another office building KZS, increasing the total area of the complex to 570 thousand м².
Multi-functional building (MFZ) - an object divided into two buildings - North and South, which are United by a common Foundation, stylobate and roof. The building resembles a boomerang. It has a variable number of storeys with a height difference from 7 to 17 floors, the peak height - a little more than 80 meters. Length - about 300 meters. Feature - negative angle of the end facades due to the removal of the console on 25 m. Facades - glass, with a total area of more than 60 thousand m2.
Constructive scheme of the building - frame. More than 24 thousand tons of metal structures were used for the construction of this facility.
The main load-bearing elements are 4 reinforced concrete cores which perceive horizontal and vertical loadings, transferring them to the base executed in the form of the plate grillage leaning against piles. Between the Southern and Northern buildings of the MFZ along the entire height of the atrium, with a roof of translucent polymer membranes ETFE. In the space of the atrium, transitional bridges are spanned, which serve as observation points. Atrium is a pedestrian area from which you can get to any of the objects of the building.
The MFZ will house a number of public spaces - for example, a planetarium in the shape of a ball or a seven-storey hall-tranformer, which can take different configurations: from the classical parquet to the amphitheater.
Lakhta Center will contain offices, a co-working center, a sports center, a children's science center, and a conference center. Lakhta Center's project includes 1,500 square meters of indoor exhibition space. Part of the open area will used to demonstrate objects of art, installations and sculptures. There will be a free public observation deck at the top of the skyscraper at the height of 357m. Planetarium - a 19-meter sparkling ball on the surface of which 1223 curved triangular stainless steel sheet, polished to a Shine. The most accurate projection of the starry sky is formed by a star machine (Japanese projector - Ohira Tech Megastar-IIA ), and larger objects, artificial aircraft, visual effects and much more – digital, created by a projection system with a resolution of 8K Meridian, which uses 10 laser 4K projectors SONY GTZ280. Five projectors illuminate the lower tier of the dome, four – the top, and one forms an image at the Zenith. Thus, the total resolution in 48 483 533 pixels.
In order to provide more effective fire-fighting, a HI-FOG water mist suppression system will be used. When the temperature exceeds 57 °C, sprinklers creating a water mist will start working automatically. Along with the sprinklers, there will be drenchers which could be switched on manually or by the means of remote control in order to create a water curtain in an emergency. Lakhta Center is also set to be the first skyscraper in St. Petersburg where an ice formation control system will be used. Heating of the glass at high floors will prevent ice accumulation and help maintain good visibility. The spire of the Tower will be made from metal gauze to prevent a layer of ice forming in winter. Level of consumption of material and energetic resources is going to be decreased due to conversion of kinetic energy of the Center workers and visitors' steps to electric energy. In periods of birds' migration special illumination will be used to light the tower.
While designing Lakhta Center several "green" and energy-saving technologies were planned for further application. They are
All in all, while constructing Lakhta Center approximately 100 innovations are to be used. It lets increase the indexes of energy saving by 40% compared to the buildings where standard technologies are in use.
In experts' opinion, period of recoupment of using green and energy-saving technologies in Lakhta Center may be at about 20 years though Lakhta Center's Projection department's specialists think that this figure is a bit overestimated.
Lakhta Center's construction raises a problem of transportation development because of the expected growth of the traffic flow in the region. Two traffic circles are to be built near Lakhta Center. These will be one of the stages of the construction of the future М32А highway. The design of two traffic circles is pending approval of GlavGosExpertisa of Russia and the construction is expected to be started as early as this year. A light rail service from Finland Railway Station and a new tram line from Primorskaya underground station will be built to serve Lakhta Center. Plans are ongoing to build a new underground station with the working title of "Lakhta". Bicycle lanes near Lakhta Center with 90 parking places for bicycles are also planned.
As the historical center of St. Petersburg has become a World Heritage Site since 1990; The World Heritage Committee opposed the construction of the 400-metre tower of Okhta Center as it would affect the cityscape of historic Saint Petersburg. In December 2006 UNESCO World Heritage Centre Director Francesco Bandarin reminded Russia about its obligations to preserve it and expressed concern over the project. In 2007, the World Monuments Fund placed the historic skyline of St. Petersburg on its 2008 Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites due to the potential construction of the building, and in 2009 reported that the tower "would damage the image of Russia." During the 36 session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO held in Saint Petersburg in 2012 it was stated that a large area of Saint-Petersburg falls within preservation and buffer zones provided for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. That is why it is good for the city that the Okhta Center, which had been planned by Gazprom in front of Smolny Cathedral was moved to Lakhta. Eleonora Mitrofanova, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to UNESCO noticed that the approved construction project for Lakhta Center is located far from the buffer zone and the historical center, so in theory Gazprom is not even obliged to ask UNESCO. However, the government authorities will definitely have consultations for the project with UNESCO. Now we are working to clarify the boundaries of the World Heritage zone and the boundaries of the buffer zone.
The project being moved to Lakhta didn't stop the discussions. On 11 April 2012, ex-governor of St. Petersburg and now Federation Council chairwoman Valentina Matvienko said to journalists that the "Lakhta center could become a new symbol of the city and attract the businessmen from all over the world to St. Petersburg."
During his visit to Russia in 2011 the Chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Professor Sang-Dae Kim was treated to a presentation of a project of Lakhta Center. Professor Kim commented on the "modern shape" of the proposed Lakhta Center, which according to him had "nothing in common with ordinary boxes". He also stated that something new ought to be created, which can be shown to new generations in 200–300 years as for them what is created nowadays will be the same history as the architecture of the 18-19th centuries for us today. Professor also noticed that the project reminds him of an oriental concept Yin Yang: on the one hand, the historic part of the city with horizontal buildings and water, and on the other hand, a vertical which will add additional charm to the city. Lakhta Center combines an interesting form and modern technologies, so up to Mr. Kim, with the lapse of time the Center can become a new symbol of Saint Petersburg.
On 16 May 2012, St. Petersburg governor Georgiy Poltavchenko emphasized in his annual report for House of Assembly the necessity of building a new "city" in St. Petersburg. According to Mr Poltavchenko, there are three appropriate districts for that: Lakhta center, Pulkovo and aggradated territories near Waterfront.