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Old June 3rd, 2010, 02:37 AM   #361
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02.06.10

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Old June 3rd, 2010, 09:22 PM   #362
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Interesting dramatisation of the issues faced can be found .
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Old June 8th, 2010, 12:27 AM   #363
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For Gazprom’s tower, does size matter?



The construction of Gazprom’s 403-metre Okhta tower in St. Petersburg has been dividing the city since 2006, and now even Russia’s ruling partnership is lining up in opposing corners.

President Dmitry Medvedev has weighed in on the side of UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), calling for a halt to construction since it could harm the city centre’s place on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

But in the modernist’s corner the architect argued that the glass skyscraper was a symbol of St. Petersburg’s future as the economic capital to rival Moscow’s stalled business district, Moskva-City.

“The Okhta Centre will become St. Petersburg’s modern business area and a new symbol of the city”, the tower’s chief architect, Philip Nikandrov, told The Moscow News. “Now there are 28 industrial structures in the city that are up to 310 metres and they do not have any historical value – so the city needs a dominant feature higher than them.”

In a rare sign of differing viewpoints from Russia’s ruling tandem, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has consistently supported the tower, saying it will help revive the city’s economy during the crisis.

“Since the main office of Gazprom-Neft is moving in, it will bring annually around 20 billion roubles ($631 million) in taxes to the city budget and some 60 billion roubles ($1.9 billion) will be invested by the company in the construction directly,” said Nikandrov.

Cultural projects

The project – dubbed by some “Gazprom City” – has received the backing of St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko and will include offices, hotels, shops, a concert hall, an art museum, libraries, a skating rink and a park.
Critics say the tower contrasts with the surrounding Tsarist-era buildings and both the St. Petersburg Union of Architects and the International Union of Architects have gone against their peer.

“The maximum permitted height of buildings in the area is 48 metres, so the tower will completely ruin the panoramic view of the city and will dwarf Rastrelli’s Smolny Monastery, which is right on the opposite embankment,” said Oleg Romanov, vice president of the local organisation.
“St. Petersburg has its own character and has gained an historical value because there were high standards of architecture in Tsarist times. We are not going to resemble London or New York.”

Opposition protests

Medvedev has now come in line with opposition parties, such as the Communists, Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party, Just Russia and Yabloko, who had already taken a firm stand against the tower.

The liberal Yabloko have already launched a lawsuit against City Hall for overlooking the law on city standards and their refusal to hold a referendum on the issue.

“[The government] tends to ignore citizens’ and professionals’ opinions and, moreover, ignores the law prohibiting any building in the area to be higher than 40 metres,” said Maxim Reznik, the head of the city’s Yabloko branch. “It goes without saying that the tower will spoil the ancient architecture of the city and the panoramic view. By promoting the project people just want to earn money on construction.”

Opponents decried

Okhta’s defenders reject their opponents’ allegations, claiming the project is legitimate – having undergone public hearings in September 2009. The tower is to be built in an industrial area 5 kilometres from the city centre.

“The project will be constructed to fully balance with the city’s skyline and isn’t at odds with any historical place,” said Nikandrov. “For a person standing in the city centre on Vasilievsky Island, the tower will seem lower than the Peter and Paul Fortress.”

He added that opponents of the project use it as an opportunity to promote themselves and often use unprofessional or false plans and doctored photographs to create a misconception of the project.

Plus for tourism?

The city’s tourism industry has also plumped in favour of the skyscraper, pointing out that London has suffered little backlash after modern architecture changed its historical cityscape.

“I have not heard of representatives of the tourist industry being concerned about the construction of the Okhta Centre,” Sergei Korneyev, vice president of the Russian Tourist Industry Union, commented on the Okhta Centre’s web site. “In London – which last year became the world’s leading tourist destination – they are absolutely happy about the fact that there are several modern skyscrapers, including famous buildings by Norman Foster, around the old city.”

The Okhta tower will give tourists a new vantage point to view the city, with the highest viewing platform currently only 42 metres high in St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

The plans are currently undergoing state verification and construction is slated to start next year. If the project goes ahead it will take four years to build and create employment opportunities but its opponents are confident the high-profile support of President Medvedev will deliver a knock-out blow to the tower.

“I do not think the giant will be finally built,” said Reznik, of Yabloko. Recently more and more top officials and ministers, and outstanding art people have criticised the project.”



Gazprom, the opera

Russian activist group Chto Delat (‘What is to be done?’) have sung out against Gazprom’s Okhta tower, producing a Soviet-style musical film called ‘The Tower: A Songspiel’. The performance is set in Gazprom’s boardroom.

On one side there is the PR manager who promotes the project, a local politician, the company’s security chief, a priest, a gallery owner who is set to become the director of the corporation’s contemporary art museum and a fashionable artist.

Pitted against them is a microcosm of Russia’s voiceless minority. The intelligentsia, workers, pensioners and the homeless among others strain their vocal chords to shout down the tower.

by Anna Sulimina at 07/06/2010, The Moscow News.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 02:18 AM   #364
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Nice.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 01:47 AM   #365
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Court boost to RMJM’s Gazprom tower



A Russian court has thrown out an appeal against RMJM’s Gazprom skyscraper in St Petersburg.

Activists had taken an appeal against the decision to grant the project approval, after St Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko gave the 403m-high tower permission in September last year.

They claimed that the tower, being built for gas giant Gazprom but officially known as the Okhta Centre, was in the breach of the city’s rules on tall buildings and cited a law passed in 2001 that limited the height of new buildings to 100m.

But the Smolinski district court ruled that Matviyenko’s decision was legal and dismissed the case. Yabloko, one of the activist groups involved in the case, has said it will appeal against ruling.

The decision comes after President Medvedev wrote to St Petersburg officials asking them to look at the project following UNESCO’s threat to remove St Petersburg from the list of world heritage sites if the tower went ahead.

But Valdimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, pledged his support last week for the project, pointing out that other historical capitals like London and Paris had similar skyscrapers. He also compared the tower to the glass pyramid designed by I M Pei at the Louvre.

9 June 2010, bdonline.co.uk
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Old June 10th, 2010, 10:10 AM   #366
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Old June 18th, 2010, 12:16 AM   #367
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Arabtec not aware of any order to stop Russia tower work

by Andy Sambidge on Thursday, 17 June 2010

[IMG]http://i46.************/2920g7t.jpg[/IMG]

Arabtec Holding, the UAE's biggest builder, said on Thursday it had no information on any decision to halt the Okhta Centre project in Russia.

Arabtec said in a statement on the Dubai Financial Market website that it was responding to reports citing the Russian president on the project.

Last year, Arabtec said it had started foundation tests on the St Petersburg tower project, after winning a AED10bn contract from Russia's Gazprom Neft.

Arabtec won the contract to build the first stage of the 400 metre high Okhta Centre in April 2008 from the oil arm of Russian national gas company Gazprom.

The Okhta Centre, the headquarters for Gazprom Neft, will be highest office building in Europe when built.

Earlier this month, reports said President Medvedev had demanded that officials look at “alternative variants of its height” amid concerns about its impact on the historic city of St Petersburg.

>> Arabian Business
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Old June 18th, 2010, 12:47 AM   #368
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Originally Posted by Star2007 View Post
This will only destroy the historic skyline of St.Petersburg. Can't they build this skysrcraper in Ekaterinburg or Kazan ? those cities need Gapzrom money more then Petersburg.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 01:18 AM   #369
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im against supertalls, but its ok!
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Old June 19th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #370
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Originally Posted by ruslan33 View Post
This will only destroy the historic skyline of St.Petersburg. Can't they build this skysrcraper in Ekaterinburg or Kazan ? those cities need Gapzrom money more then Petersburg.
it's already destroyed by a large amount of huge commie hotels around historical center. get onto observation deck on isaak cathedral and you won't able to find any good angle to shot historical center because 1. it's low - under 100m 2. lots of commieblocks appears on the background.
so right opposite - gazprom will make it possible to see an untouched historical skyline from another side of the city. at 300m you will able to the it with a sea at the background, not commieblocks.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 08:11 PM   #371
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Originally Posted by coth View Post
it's already destroyed by a large amount of huge commie hotels around historical center. get onto observation deck on isaak cathedral and you won't able to find any good angle to shot historical center because 1. it's low - under 100m 2. lots of commieblocks appears on the background.
so right opposite - gazprom will make it possible to see an untouched historical skyline from another side of the city. at 300m you will able to the it with a sea at the background, not commieblocks.
Let me see if I got it right, since it's already in bad conditions, let's finish it off with a 400 meters monster, right?
Knock down the commie hotels instead, if these are really so damaging for the city downtown (which I don't really believe).
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 02:43 AM   #372
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Pics by gelio:





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Old July 16th, 2010, 01:58 PM   #373
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A Positive Conclusion Issued by GlavGosExpertisa of Russia upon the Results of Engineering Investigations on Okhta Center Site

GlavGosExpertisa of Russia issued a conclusion on the results of the engineering investigations at Okhta Center site located at the address 2 / Lit K Krasnogvardeyskaya square.

The results of the investigations confirm that at this site it is feasible to design and build a high rise building with a developed substructure and a large load on soils.

Unique geological investigations were conducted aimed at studying the soil structure in the area of the proposed construction of Okhta Center. The specialists drilled 200 boreholes at the depth of 75 and 175 meters, which is unprecedented in a Russian construction industry. In addition geophysics, topo survey, hydrometeorologic, seismic and ecologic investigations, drilling and research of soil and clay samples were held at the site of future Okhta Center.

Engineering investigations were conducted by 13 top notch research companies in the sphere of construction and geology including All-Russian and Saint Petersburg scientific and research institutions.

It should be noted that the project of the construction of a public and business area is implemented by Social and Business Center Okhta JSC.
According to a project concept, apart from office premises Okhta Center area will host a theater and concert hall, a modern sports facility, landscaping park areas, cafes, restaurants, a museum of modern art and museum of archeology the first one in Saint Petersburg. The tower will host a public observation deck.

Reference:

To the end of the construction of the tower as part of a public and business area Okhta Center it is planned to construct piles at the depth of 80m and over 80m and barrettes at the depth of 56m from its substructure foundation slab. A strength factor of the foundations will be 1,5 times as much as the one required for ensuring the stability of a high rise building. The depth of the foundation is 65m.

The design solutions of the foundations imply not only the vicinity of the river Neva and Okhta to the future building but soil particularities as well.
The foundation structure will comprise three parts: a diaphragm wall restricting a site for future construction, deep piles as the main mass of the end bearing capacity and barrettes the high rise will rest upon. The project implies that the foundation of the building will consist of 1604 bored piles and 121 barrettes as part of the foundations of the tower (the depth of barrettes is 80m from the ground level).
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Old July 18th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #374
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Old July 18th, 2010, 02:40 PM   #375
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Old July 18th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #376
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the design is impressive, and will work nicely on the St Petersburg skyline..

aswell its normal this project gets a lot of people protesting against it..
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Old July 19th, 2010, 02:43 PM   #377
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How is adding a beautiful , unique , and iconic skyscraper going to ruin the view of the commie blocks ? I'm sorry but that's a real head-scratcher to me . I'm just not understanding how any part of this project can be considered a detraction from what , basically , is a gravel lot right now .

Hey , I understand the objections to the height ... in a way . I mean , to actually be on the street , these things really don't stand out and impose on you the way some people seem to think that they do . If you look at it as a work of art (which , really , it partially is) then you can only see it as a tremendous boost to the St. Petersburg urban fabric . Like the Eiffel tower since it's unique in that city .
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Old July 19th, 2010, 03:26 PM   #378
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I agree that the protests don't make much sense. The protesters make it sound as if it's built right in the middle of St. Petersburg's historical center, but in reality it's built in an area dominated by commieblocks, at least going by the aerials posted earlier.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #379
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Now that's a nice-looking building!!
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Old July 19th, 2010, 04:31 PM   #380
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Well, what to say other than the objections by the "friends of the progress" to the so-called "skyscraperophobes" (like me, see I'm in a skyscraper forum but I hate towers of course) were already discussed zillions of times not only in this thread, but in way more knowledgeable circles? This is well into idiocy territory already. People don't know sh** about St. Petersburg's architecture but keep on talking nevertheless.
@ Droneriot: these pics were all conveniently shot in an eastward direction, without showing what's a few dozens of meters this side of the river. But then, with a 400 meters tower, how can even the landscape that's 5 kilometers away not be affected? Oh well. I'm so tired.
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