The Okhta Centre, St. Petersburg8 June 2009
The Okhta Centre Project, which includes the development of a social and business centre in Krasnogvardeisky District in
PROJECT: The Okhta Centre, St Petersburg
DESIGNER: RMJM London Limited
COST: $2.4 billion
COMPLETION TIME: 2016
The Okhta Centre, the HQ building for Russia's state-controlled gas company Gazprom will be built in the Krasnogvardeysky district of St. Petersburg, on the bank of the Okhta River. Part of urban regeneration project aiming to reclaim the city’s stature as a major European centre for culture and commerce, this community and business area is said to be the tallest building in St. Petersburg.
The 396 meter high Centre will comprise contemporary office buildings, apartment blocks, shops, cafes, restaurants, a library, a sports complex with a swimming pool, a recreational park, an embankment and boulevards. The development will also include a theatre and sculpture park, as well as a Modern Art Centre, plus the Museum of the History of the First Settlements in St. Petersburg.
The project initiators, the St. Petersburg administration and Gazprom announced the results of an international tender for the planning and concept design of the center. Among the six renowned architectural companies, the tender was won by the international architectural practice RMJM
London Limited. RMJM renamed the Gazprom City as the Okhta Centre in March 2007. The first stage of the project was completed in November 2006. The skyscraper is expected to be built by 2010, and the entire project is scheduled to finish by 2016.
According to the competition-winning design, the Okhta Centre will be divided into three zones. The first zone, occupied by the skyscraper of the Gazprom administrative complex located in the triangle where the Okhta river meets the Neva river, will house offices, parking area for 3000 cars and an IT center. The second zone situated north of the first, will incorporate additional social facilities such as modern art museum, a multifunctional theatre and a concert hall.
Situated to the south of the first, is the third zone proposed as potential development territory. The anchor facilities to be built by RMJM include sports and leisure complex along with a swimming pool, an indoor ice rink, a fitness center and spa, a shopping center and an apartment hotel. The rest of the last will be kept for future investors and architects.
The Okhta Center design clearly defines the spirit of the city of elements on the horizon, over which bursts the cupolas and the spires, breaking through its skyline, defying dimensions. The center will be a glass-clad tower with a distinctive twisted profile that tapers to a rounded point. The design of the tower is inspired by the ancient pentagonal Scandinavian fort, existing on the site before. The tower consists of a central concrete core ringed by five square interlocking floorplates, spinning on their axes while ascending. Besides giving the building its twisted effect, it also ensures the tower’s stability. Steel beams connect the core to the external columns to further stiffen the structure. As the light hits the twisting column at different angles at different stages throughout the day, the tower will give the appearance of changing color. According to lead architect of RMJM, the tower symbolizes the importance of energy in the city and of Gazprom's standing as the world's largest gas company.
The 51 percent of the project cost will be financed by Gazprom Neft, representing the Gazprom group, while the St. Petersburg administration will finance remaining 49 percent of the project.
Gazprom Neft - www.gazprom-neft.com
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