Sir Norman Foster to design Moscow Tower
MOSCOW’s mayor has endorsed plans to build a tower, 600 metres high, designed by the British architect Lord Foster of Thames Bank. It is expected to be the tallest in Europe when it is completed in 2010.
Yuri Luzhkov, the mayor, approved the plan for the 118-storey Moscow City Tower after meeting Lord Foster in the Russian capital last week.
“He was very enthusiastic about it,” Lord Foster told The Times. “It was very well received. I think everyone wants this to happen very quickly.”
A spokesman for Moscow city hall said the city government would make its final decision after the plans were reviewed by the construction commission early next month. But Lord Foster said that he expected construction to begin within 18 months.
The tower will be part of Moscow City — a huge development on the banks of the Moscow river, three miles from the Kremlin — which the authorities hope will become the country’s main financial district.
It will be naturally ventilated and use the latest heat exchange technologies to minimise energy use. The building will also collect snow and rainwater to reduce by 30 per cent the volume of fresh water used by lavatories.
City authorities are understood to have wanted a distinctive skyscraper that could become a landmark similar to Lord Foster’s “Gherkin” — the headquarters of Swiss Re — in the City of London. The development includes the 430m high Federation Tower, due to be completed in 2008.
The Moscow City Tower plan was proposed by Shalva Chigirinsky, a Russian property tycoon who has close links to Mr Luzhkov and was ranked 59 on a Russian rich list this year.
He told a property conference in Cannes last week that it would cost $1.5 billion (Â£830 million) to build the tower, of which his company would provide between
$150 million and $200 million. “We’re not poor people. We will invest as much as it takes,” he said.
Last month Mr Chigirinsky teamed up with Lord Foster to redevelop a 19-acre island in St Petersburg called New Holland. Created in 1719, the triangular island was Russia’s first naval port. It is now to be transformed into a $319 million cultural complex that will include a theatre, a concert hall, a museum, art galleries, hotels, shops and offices.
The Moscow City Tower will be a “mixed-use, super-dense, vertical city” capable of accommodating 25,000 people, according to Lord Foster. It will have nine underground floors of parking and shopping space, a public ice rink on the first floor, an hotel, twenty-four floors of apartments and offices and a public observation deck with cafÃ©s and bars at the top.
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