|Former names||Gazprom Tower, Okhta Center|
|Location||Lakhta, Saint Petersburg|
|Completed||Q3 2018 (planned)|
|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. Lahta Centr) is an 87-story skyscraper currently under construction 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 13th-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: composing of public facilities and offices. The building was designed by Tony Kettle, author of the design, while at 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.
Lakhta Center's environmentally sustainable technologies helped the complex be certified LEED Gold. 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.
26 January 2012 it became known that Gazprom was planning to build a new harbour for yachts near Lakhta Center and Krestovsky Island. A new company for managing these sea assets was to be created.
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 October 30, 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.
- March 2013 – zero cycle works are in process. Piles are being installed. According to the schedule of construction diaphragm wall is to be completed by the end of April while piling works will continue up to 15 August 2013.
- July 2013 – mounting of the 264 piles under the box-type foundation has been finished. Excavation of foundation pit is in the process.
- September 2013 – total area of the site is announced to be increased from 330 to 400 thousand square meters due to the extension of the size of the parking by 700 parking places.
- October 2013 – construction of box-type foundation has been started. According to the plan this part of the work is to be finished in 2014.
- December 2013 – mounting of the concrete disks to the diaphragm wall has started. Disks are to provide the diaphragm wall with more resistance to outside ground pressure.
- April 2014 – construction of foundation pit for the skyscraper is over.
- June 2014 – piling is totally completed. 264 piles were mounted for the tower of Lakhta Center, 848 piles were mounted for the mixed-use building and entrance arch and 968 piles were mounted for the stylobate (undergroung parking). All in all 2080 piles were dug in.
- September 2014 – excavation of the foundation pit for the mixed-use building has been finished. Foundation concreting has started.
- February and March 2015 – the pouring of the bottom slab of the box shaped foundation of Center's high-rise building is over. 19,624 cubic meters of concrete were cast in the foundation.
- June 2015 – construction of the underground floors under the Tower has been finished.
- September 2015 – pouring of the 2m thick upper box foundation slab has been completed so all the works related to Lakhta Center construction below zero elevation are completed.
- September 2015 – the construction of the first floors of the tower core is underway.
- January 2016 – construction of the succeeding ten floors of the tower; works on stylobate complex.
- April 2016 – construction of the tower core at the level of the 22-26 floors. Installation of the metal farm in the 18-22d floors of the tower.
- May 2016 – glazing of the facade of the Tower has started.
- September 2016 – construction of the tower core at the level of the 46-50 floors.
- December 2016 – installation of facade of the tower at the level of the 16-18 floors; construction of the tower core at the level of the 57-61 floors.
- February 2017 – Lahkta Center's tower reached the point of 260 metres; 61-64 floors are under construction.
- April 2017 - height exceeds 300 meters, which allowed Lakhta Center to be supertall (international classification), work is being done on the 67 floor.
- May 2017 - the skyscraper reached the height 327,6 meters, working on the 78th floor.
- August 2017 - started installation of the spire at 83 floors.
- 5 October 2017 Lakhta center became the tallest building in Europe. Reached the height of 374 meters.
- January 29, 2018 the height of Lakhta center project reached a height of 462 meters, completed the Assembly of structures of the spire continues the glazing of the tower at 70 storeys.
- On June 27, 2018, the initial commissioning of the building was carried out. Technical documentation, building plan and technical passport were prepared.
- On October 16, 2018 Lakhta Center MFC JSC received authorization for commissioning of the facility. The relevant document was officially published by the State Construction Supervision and Inspection Service of Saint Petersburg, Russia. There is about a year to go until the opening of Lakhta Center Multifunctional Complex, its dominant being the tallest skyscraper of Europe.
Lakhta Center will contain offices, a co-working centre, a sports centre, a children's science centre, and a conference centre. 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.
- The main entrance in Lakhta Center is designed as an arch. The height of the arch is almost 24m while its length is 98m.
- There will be 34 elevators in the tower, but not all of them will travel to the top floor. The mixed-use building will contain 62 elevators. Besides these elevators there will be special firefighter lifts constructed to be used in case of emergency. The total capacity of all elevators is up to 1,280 people.
- Lakhta Center's foundation is going to be concreted continuously in round-the-clock mode. Constructors plan to pour 24,000 cubic metres in 48 hours. The volume of concrete to be poured under the mixed-use building near the tower is 48,000 cubic metres. This volume is large enough to claim to be included in the Guinness Book of Records.
- Around 400,000 cubic meters of concrete will be used for Lakhta Center's construction. During the first stage of foundation concreting 8,500 cubic meters of concrete will be used.
- The area of glazing of the Tower totals 72,500 square meters as the area of the glazing for the complex in the whole makes up 130,000 square meters.
- Lakhta Center is designed to a high safety standard which allows the construction stand still on one core even if all ten supportive columns collapsed. The core structure is up to the highest fire rating. The building is designed to be able to withstand a four-hour fire without any structural damage.
|Ground||Retail and Transformable Hall|
|1-8||Retail Areas and Exhibitions|
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
- Double facade. Usage of double glazing will help to increase the level of thermal insulation, which allowed the designers to reduce costs for heating and conditioning.
- Usage of the excess heat generated by working technical equipment for the heating of premises.
- Usage of equipment with reduced noise level along with noise suppressors, sound-proof curtain walls and floating floors.
- Usage of economical infrared radiators.
- Usage of contactless sensors or motion detectors for economizing electric energy and water.
- Mounting of the systems supporting the optimal level of temperature and humidity inside the building.
- Smart waste disposal system which improves hygiene and reduces CO2 emissions. Also wastes are sorted, which is one of the essential principles of green construction. Waste disposal is required by 20 times less frequent than in a conventional system.
- Constructing of the ice storages which will accumulate up to 1000 tons of ice at night for air conditioning during the daytime. It will help to reduce the differences in the usage of electricity during the night and day periods. It also allows reducing expenditures on electric power on the account of the differences in tariffs for day and night usage of electricity. As the cooling of the building is to be made using accumulative ice generators it will be possible to save on electricity expenditures up to 13 thousand rubles a day.
- In support to the World Wide Fund for Nature and FLAP's (Fatal Light Awareness Program) "Bird - Friendly Building Program", Lakhta Center's illumination will be designed so to make the building bird-safe especially in the periods of migration of birds (autumn, winter). The system of the illumination intensity and color change is under development at the moment.
- Due to the peculiarities of the highly humid and windy climate in the North Western region of Russia the possibility of icing up of buildings is relatively high. In order to prevent complete icing up of the spire of the Lakhta Center's tower engineers changed glassing to the metal gauze.
- In order to provide Lakhta Center and adjoining areas with electricity without making any extra burden on existing infrastructure a new standalone power substation "Nevskaya guba" will be constructed.
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 centre 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 April 11, 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 Centre, 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 May 16, 2012, St. Petersburg governor Georgiy Poltavchenko emphasised 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.
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