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Old July 16th, 2007, 12:50 PM   #101
hkskyline
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UNESCO asks Russia to pause skyscraper project

MOSCOW, July 13 (Reuters) - The United Nations cultural arm UNESCO has asked Russia to withhold permission for a 320-metre (1,050 ft) skyscraper in St Petersburg until it has assessed the impact on the city's historic skyline.

The request is the weightiest intervention yet in a project that many conservationists say could destroy the city's unique silhouette of canals, bridges and 18th century palaces.

Russian gas giant Gazprom wants to build the tower near the centre of St Petersburg -- an area listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site -- to house its offices and trumpet Russia's resurgence as an economic powerhouse and global player.

The request was issued by the World Heritage Committee, a body empowered under an international treaty to monitor sites included on UNESCO's World Heritage list and ensure they do not violate the list's requirements.

Mechtild Rossler, head of European and American heritage at UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, told Reuters on Friday that the committee had asked the Russian authorities to refrain from issuing any building permits for now.

This was to allow it to review "whether the outstanding universal value of heritage has been fully assessed and whether this outstanding universal value has been damaged".

The request was made at a session of the committee in New Zealand that ended on July 2. Gazprom and Russian officials were not immediately available for comment.

"This strong action is very much to be welcomed," said Clementine Cecil, co-founder of the Moscow Architectural Preservation Society, which has campaigned against the Gazprom Tower.

The skyscraper, in a derelict industrial area on the edge of St Petersburg's historic centre, will be just a few metres shorter than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, dwarfing the rest of the low-rise cityscape.

Local authorities in St Petersburg support the tower, though Gazprom has not yet submitted its detailed plans to officials for formal approval.

Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great as a "window on Europe", St Petersburg has survived revolutions, a siege by German invaders in World War Two and heavy-handed Soviet planners.

It is held in special affection by Russians who see it as Russia's cultural heart.

Gazprom's plan has caused widespread concern in the city, with leading members of the city's cultural elite condemning it.

But President Vladimir Putin, a St Petersburg native, has not stepped in. Through its gas exports, Gazprom is one of the country's biggest earners of foreign revenue and has close Kremlin ties.

"(St. Petersburg) is one of the few (cities) which have been preserved with this silhouette which is lost all over the other sites in eastern Europe," said Rossler. "It is one of the few sites which has maintained a certain integrity." (Additional reporting by Denis Pinchuk in St Petersburg)
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Old September 1st, 2007, 11:20 AM   #102
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Place is bad , bud skyscraper is so cool
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Old September 1st, 2007, 01:12 PM   #103
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kinda looks like the old design of the Chicago Spire only smaller.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 05:17 PM   #104
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nice building.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #105
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RMJM tower threatens St Petersburg's world heritage status
3 September, 2007

By Zoë Blackler

Unesco is threatening to strip St Petersburg of its World Heritage status if the city proceeds with plans to build RMJM’s Gazprom tower.

The 396m HQ for energy giant Gazprom has faced fierce opposition since RMJM won an international design competition last December.

On Friday, Unesco’s deputy director Marcio Barbosa said Russia has until February to report on the project’s impact on the former imperial capital. If the plans remain unchanged, Barbosa warned, Unesco could place St Petersburg on its list of endangered sites.

The original Gazprom competition made headlines last December after Norman Foster, Rafael Vinoly and Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa walked off the jury amid speculation that they were being pressured to select RMJM.

Kurokawa stated publicly that he was opposed to all six shortlisted designs, including submissions from Jean Nouvel, Daniel Libeskind, Massimiliano Fuksas and Rem Koolhaas, because of their height, arguing that the city should not build tall.

The winning scheme has also prompted local protests and criticism from the Russian Union of Architects.

Unesco’s threat follows its bid to influence development in a number of historic British cities. In February, London and Liverpool both announced changes to planning guidance to safeguard their world heritage status.

St Petersburg, home town of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was designated a World Heritage site in 1990.

http://www.bdonline.co.uk/story.asp?...0000000138a277
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Old September 4th, 2007, 04:30 PM   #106
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LOL! So how powerful is this Gazprom and it seems like they are unstoppable? I just look at their status in Fortune Global 500 and they are #52 and and getting better. They are #8 in profits with $20 billion dollars . I guess money is everything then. Well, I am also "DEEPLY OPPOSED" to this construction of this tower (only this tower and not the other buildings). However, if its built, just don't look at the tower and feel bad about it. Just look at the bright side. The city is going to make an additional tax revenue of $750 million dollars and people will get better jobs. Just treat this tower like the Paris "Tour Montparnasse" of St. Petersburg.

NOTE:
To those people who think that Gazprom Tower or so-called "Miller Stick" is like the controversial Eiffel Tower of Paris. Just to remind you that Eiffel Tower was built temporarily. They actually plan to dismantle the tower in 10 - 15 years. However, Parisians and the world loves it so it became permanent. The Miller Stick is not a temporary structure so better do something before its too late.

CORRECTION: Someone needs to change the thread title from Ohta Center to "Ohkta" Center.
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Last edited by Gaeus; September 4th, 2007 at 04:39 PM.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 08:55 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaeus View Post
L
CORRECTION: Someone needs to change the thread title from Ohta Center to "Ohkta" Center.
if smbd changes the title it is better Okhta than proposed Ohkta
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Old September 5th, 2007, 12:53 AM   #108
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better leave it as ohta
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Old September 5th, 2007, 05:53 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaeus View Post
LOL! So how powerful is this Gazprom and it seems like they are unstoppable? I just look at their status in Fortune Global 500 and they are #52 and and getting better. They are #8 in profits with $20 billion dollars . I guess money is everything then. Well, I am also "DEEPLY OPPOSED" to this construction of this tower (only this tower and not the other buildings). However, if its built, just don't look at the tower and feel bad about it. Just look at the bright side. The city is going to make an additional tax revenue of $750 million dollars and people will get better jobs. Just treat this tower like the Paris "Tour Montparnasse" of St. Petersburg.

NOTE:
To those people who think that Gazprom Tower or so-called "Miller Stick" is like the controversial Eiffel Tower of Paris. Just to remind you that Eiffel Tower was built temporarily. They actually plan to dismantle the tower in 10 - 15 years. However, Parisians and the world loves it so it became permanent. The Miller Stick is not a temporary structure so better do something before its too late.

CORRECTION: Someone needs to change the thread title from Ohta Center to "Ohkta" Center.
Whats wrong with the way it is spelled that it needs to be changed?
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Old September 5th, 2007, 06:30 AM   #110
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FEATURE- Gazprom skyscraper row symbolises Putin's Russia

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept 3 (Reuters) - A plan by Russian gas giant Gazprom to build a skyscraper in historic St Petersburg is an object lesson in how power and influence work in Vladimir Putin's Russia.

The world's largest gas producer, Gazprom wants to build a 320-metre (1,050 ft) high glass and concrete skyscraper near St Petersburg's city centre, listed by United Nations cultural watchdog UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

Opponents say the building -- nicknamed "Gazoskryob" or "Gasscraper" -- will ruin the city's low-rise skyline of canals and Baroque palaces. But it is about more than aesthetics.

The "No" campaign may be one of the biggest public rebellions of Putin's seven years as president -- a period when shows of mass dissent have become rare. The fact St Petersburg is Putin's hometown adds spice to the row.

At an anti-Kremlin rally in the city in March when at least 2,000 people gathered, banners protesting against the destruction of the city's arhitectural heritage were almost as numerous as those alleging government repression.

The campaign has been joined by leaders of the usually quiescent cultural establishment -- including figures like Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the city's renowned Hermitage Museum.

The plan's critics say it also encapsulates many of the shortcomings of Putin's Russia: state corporations which wield almost unchallenged power and a bureaucratic machine that serves the Kremlin, but often seems deaf to public opinion.

"The protest ... is caused by the fact that people feel the authorities don't intend taking their opinion into consideration," Vladimir Vasilyev, head of St Petersburg State University's laboratory for political psychology, told Reuters.

"None of the things Gazprom and the St. Petersburg authorities have been doing in the past faced strong opposition. And they started to believe that everything they do is right and they can do whatever they want", said Vasilyev.

The project's backers -- who include St Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko -- say it is part of a much-needed renewal of St Petersburg and will breathe new life into a largely-derelict corner of the city.

"We've made the skyscraper so high so it looks harmonious and beautiful. It could have been lower but it would have been ugly," said Alexender Dybal, Vice President of Gazprom unit Gazpromneft, which plans to have its headquarters in the tower.

STATE HIERARCHY

The critics point out that the new building will be directly opposite Smolny Cathedral, built in the 18th century by acclaimed Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli.

"This is not architecture," said Oleg Ionissyan, of the St Petersburg Board for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage.

"Architecture means to fit into the environment. It (the tower) could be accommodated on the steppe or in Malaysia, but not close to the Rastrelli's creation."

Matviyenko's administration says it has not given official approval for the tower but many people believe that is just a matter of time.

The site has already been handed over to Gazprom, with approval granted for an unspecified development. And Matviyenko sat alongside Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller at a presentation to unveil the winning design for the skyscraper.

There has been no formal public consultation on the tower. The opposition Yabloko party applied to hold a referendum, but the local legislature, dominated by Matviyenko supporters, kept postponing a decision on whether to allow a vote.

"They know they will lose," said Maxim Reznik, head of Yabloko in St Petersburg. "A referendum does not fit into the authoritarian model. In their opinion, it is not up to people to decide: people are scum, the nobility take all the decisions."

The way Russia's state hierarchy functions gives Gazprom considerable influence. Since a 2004 reform proposed by Putin to abolish direct elections for regional leaders, governors like Matviyenko report to the Kremlin, not voters.

The Kremlin in turn is intertwined with Gazprom. The Russian state holds a 51 percent stake, and Gazprom's chairman is Dmitry Medvedev, Putin's ex-chief of staff who is now a first deputy prime minister tipped by some as a possible next president.

A "No" campaign poster depicts a Godzilla-style monster in a Gazprom T-shirt towering over Smolny Cathedral. Matviyenko, portrayed as a member of the Komsomol, the youth wing of the Soviet Communist Party, salutes.

A caption reads: " Gazprom said 'It must be done!' The Komsomol answered: 'Yes sir!'"
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Old September 5th, 2007, 09:16 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post

"This is not architecture," said Oleg Ionissyan,
....
"Architecture means to fit into the environment. It (the tower) could be accommodated on the steppe or in Malaysia, but not close to the Rastrelli's creation."
...
do you know who was against Eiffel tower in Paris?
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Old September 5th, 2007, 10:35 AM   #112
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Whats wrong with the way it is spelled that it needs to be changed?
I was trying to look for Ohta in Google and all I found is the Skyscrapercity Page. I have to used a link here just to look for the actual project and go to the architect firm's website. It doesn't matter if you leave it like that anyway as long as there are updates that comes along.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 12:56 PM   #113
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an official site is also www.ohta-center.ru
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Old September 5th, 2007, 07:34 PM   #114
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an official site is also www.ohta-center.ru
This site isn't cool
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Old September 6th, 2007, 07:45 AM   #115
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Hold on a moment, Oh-ta ( Rus "оута") just doesn't sound right... From what I gather the correct translation should be Okhta, where kh stands for Russkoe "x".
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Old September 6th, 2007, 10:09 AM   #116
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english language rules doesn't work with transliterated words
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Old September 7th, 2007, 06:13 AM   #117
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Gorgeous building. Just needs some neighbors around it.

I don't think the UN has any business telling a city what it can and can't do architecturally. If St. Petersburg people are alright with it, then let it be. All cities have historical attributes. All cities change and evolve over time. Trying to retard that evolution is itself a retarded idea.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 07:32 AM   #118
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Gorgeous building. Just needs some neighbors around it.

I don't think the UN has any business telling a city what it can and can't do architecturally. If St. Petersburg people are alright with it, then let it be. All cities have historical attributes. All cities change and evolve over time. Trying to retard that evolution is itself a retarded idea.
Well, majority of people are against it. All cities evolve over time. However, this is not a retarded idea. The historical aspect of the city is only comparable to Paris and Rome. Look what happened to Alexandria Egypt after they change the city or the city of Jerusalem after all the magnificent buildings were destroyed or replaced.

UNESCO World Heritage Center job is to preserve the historical aspect of an exceptional area. They put this city of the list of the "World's Heritage List" due to its architectural wonders. They have the right to put it out of the list but they "do not have the right to intervene". They were just asking. That's the job of the Russian Government.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 04:38 AM   #119
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better get built
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Old September 13th, 2007, 01:39 PM   #120
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Rather than comparing it to Tour Montparnasse or the Eiffel Tower compare it to La Defense in Paris. The Okhta Centre will be much further from the Historical Centre than this and remember it is 5km or more from the heart of St Petersburg. Why will this be damaging?
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