Russia's oil and gas industry has taken on new life in the last decade. Consolidation and capitalism have increased production and profits to new heights. And so we should start expecting to see these companies to start doing outlandish things with their profits.
First to the plate is state-run Gazprom, Russia's largest company and, by some measures, the third-largest corporation in the world. St. Petersburg has bent over backward to get Gazprom to build their headquarters there, actually offering to pay for 49% of the project (in exchange for 20B roubles [800M USD] a year in taxes) and most oddly for Europe's tallest tower, it's being built in a city that, before this, allowed NO BUILDINGS higher than 50 meters tall.
That century-old provision has now been waived, and the Okhta tower is a go! In addition to being 400 meters high and lording its superiority over its 50 M tall great grand parents, it will also be (according to the architects) "one of the most environmentally sustainable high rise buildings in the world."
The one obvious reason for this is that it will have to be super insulated in order to stay warm during the 30-degrees-below-zero Russian winter. The super-insulating double-pained glass is likened to a fur coat in their press release. Though, they should probably stay away from the fur metaphor amongst American environmentalists.
Other environmental innovations are apparently going to continue to leak out of RMJM, the British firm that designed the tower. As for now, we're just going to have to take their word for it.
Photo Gallery after the jump.
written by Ben, February 28, 2008
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