It’s 2018, and some of the biggest architectural firms are racing to take over the world’s skylines, one skyscraper at a time. Zaha Hadid Architects seems to be taking the lead, with The Leeza Soho in Beijing, boasting the world’s tallest atrium, as well as Mercury Tower, a 112 metre-high tower planned for Paceville on the northern coast of Malta.
Closer to home is The Exchange 106, which rises out from the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), the new international financial district in Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle. Another one is The Grand Rama 9 Tower in Bangkok, slated to be Southeast Asia’s tallest building, estimated to be completed in 2021.
One of the latest is The Lakhta Center in St Petersburg, a 400,000-square-meter complex which is home to Europe’s tallest skyscraper. Designed by UK- and Edinburgh-based architectural firm RMJM (authoring team led by Tony Kettle), the complex will be located in the northwest of the city, on the coastline of the Gulf of Finland. The location has seen significant development in recent years with the completion of the St Petersburg Stadium, a passenger seaport, and a number of park spaces (including the Park of the 300th Anniversary of Saint Petersburg).
The centrepiece of the complex is a 462-meter tall building which, once completed this year, will not only be the first supertall skyscraper in St Petersburg, but also the tallest in Europe. Additionally, it will also be the world’s northernmost skyscraper and the second-tallest twisting building after the Shanghai Tower.
The core of the building is shaped like a spine and holds all 87 floors. The facade is made up of bonded double-glazed windows, each with its own individual shape. The cherry on top of the building is the installation of a spire at a height of 500 metres.
Once completed, the tower will provide space for offices, as well as several public resources, including a planetarium, medical centre, performance hall, and a bank.