The Lakhta Centre – Europe’s tallest skyscraper – reaches its planned height

29 January 2018

Installation of the spire at the top of the Lakhta Centre, a multifunctional complex currently being built in St Petersburg, in which Gazprom Neft will have its headquarters, is now complete, with the top of the skyscraper being lit up with aircraft warning lights and the main building of the complex having reached its ultimate height of 462 metres. Construction of the skyscraper aboveground has taken two and a half years.

According to Elena Ilyukhina, Lakhta Centre CEO and a member of the Gazprom Neft Management Board, “The high-rise architecture of the complex is completely in keeping with the innovative spirit of St Petersburg. The Lakhta Centre skyscraper has not only now taken on its complete architectural silhouette, but has become a full-fledged part of the northern capital’s waterfront, as well as a new symbol of a city with its eyes fixed on the future. The Lakhta Centre is being developed as a global project in urban planning — something unprecedented in terms of educational and cultural public space. Implementing such an ambitious project has only been possible thanks to the professionalism of the international crew, under the management of the Russian project team. The Lakhta Centre high-rise building has now reached its planned height, and we expect construction of the full complex to be completed on schedule by the end of 2018.”

The Lakhta Centre is a high-tech skyscraper, involving unique design and technical solutions in its construction. The building, which has a total weight of 670,000 tonnes, is being erected under difficult ground conditions. Piles of up to two metres in diameter — the widest in the world — extend to a depth of 82 metres. Alongside the skyscraper, three more complex facilities are in the final stages of construction — a multifunctional building (including an atrium), together with a slanted podium (a stylobate), with a separate arch, acting as the main entrance. Total floorspace across these facilities runs to 400,000 square metres.

Alexander Dyukov, Chairman of the Gazprom Neft Management Board and the Lakhta Centre Board of Directors

“The Lakhta Centre has now reached its planned height of 462 metres, becoming the tallest skyscraper in Europe. We had, from the very beginning, set the project team the target of installing the spire by the beginning of 2018. As you see, everything is going to plan, and we will complete construction by the end of 2018.

“Gazprom Neft is an oil company, and building as unique a complex as the Lakhta Centre was a new experience for us. A dedicated company — the Lakhta Centre Multifunctional Complex — was created for implementing this project, and a highly effective team put together, the main core of which comprised our own employees. Gazprom Neft has, subsequently, implemented the project — embodying the most cutting-edge technological and engineering solutions, and taking all environmental and safety issues into account — successfully. As it turns out, proven project management techniques, reliance on high technology and innovation, and the engagement and development of skilled professionals, works equally well both in the oil industry and in implementing major construction projects. Gazprom Neft is committed to remaining a technological leader in Russia’s oil industry. We simply transferred that commitment to implementing the Lakhta Centre project. Unique technologies and solutions — developed specifically for this project — were used in building the complex. The unprecedented experience the Russian project team have gained on the Lakhta Centre will, without a doubt, be much sought after at Gazprom Neft.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS

The Lakhta Centre is an innovative multifunctional complex in St Petersburg, in which Gazprom’s headquarters are to be located, alongside various public spaces. Construction of the complex, initiated in October 2012, is expected to be complete by the end of 2018. The key architectural feature of the complex — the 462-metre-high skyscraper — is the highest building in Europe. Approximately 600 Russian and international companies, and more than 20,000 professionals, from 18 countries, have been involved in realising this project.

The Lakhta Centre comprises four facilities, with total floorspace of more than 400,000 square metres:

  • an <nobr>87-floor</nobr> skyscraper, following an outline twisting 90 degrees from its foundations to the top

  • a multifunctional building

  • a separate arch, acting as the main entrance to the complex

  • a podium, hiding a car park, storage facilities and service entrance.

The supporting columns of the skyscraper (made of composite materials) have an incline of 2.89°, giving the tower its spiral outline. This solution — used for the first time in Russian high-rise architecture — resulted in a <nobr>40-percent</nobr> reduction in the time spent building the tower, as well as a two-fold reduction in construction costs. The base foundations, at 3.6 metres thick, were poured over a period of 49 hours, without interruption — making the Guinness World Records. The building’s façades — covering a total 130,000 square metres — are made of cold-formed glass. A “smart façade”, together with a unique maintenance system, were developed specifically for the Lakhta Centre.

The spire, which forms the final structural element of the Lakhta Centre skyscraper, was installed without helicopter support, using the highest crane in Europe. Useable space will be installed right up to the 87th floor (at 368.8 metres high) within the spire, including an observation platform, giving views previously only possible from aircraft. The 88th floor upwards (377.35 metres) will accommodate façade maintenance, telecommunications and navigation systems equipment. The Lakhta Centre is pre-certified under the international Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED ) system.