Tuesday, July 17, 2007

72-story Gazprom building to tower over St. Petersburg (Like It or Not)

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At 72 stories, the new headquarters for Russia's state-run gas company will tower over St. Petersburg. The Gazprom building — part of a complex to include a sports center, theater, and cafés — has its critics.

They note that, at 1,300 feet, it's a touch tall for a 300-year-old city of church spires and canals. Not that such carping hinders progress in neo-authoritarian Russia. Only vigorous protest kept the city from funding the entire project, and the liberal Yabloko party was barred from recent elections for opposing it. At least it's designed to use 40 percent less energy than a comparable building.

"We see this as an opportunity to remind Gazprom of its responsibility as a key energy provider," says chief architect Tony Kettle of UK-based RMJM. Good luck with that — Gazprom provides subsidized gas for central heating in Russia. Conservation's not exactly at the top of its agenda. Link

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