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August 27, 2018

Europe’s tallest skyscraper nears completion


The tallest building in Europe is nearly complete. Rising above a new waterfront complex in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Lakhta Center’s tower stands at 462 meters (1,516 feet) tall, making it the city’s first “supertall” building (one measuring 300 meters or above).

The structure is now the northernmost skyscraper in the world, according to its developers.

The 87-story tower twists a full 90 degrees from its foundation to its top, like a winding needle. This makes it one of the world’s tallest examples of a “twisted” skyscraper design.

Its soaring height is offset by a lower mixed-use building with a 260-meter-long (853-foot-long) facade. Residential and commercial space will be installed up to a height of 360 meters (1,181 feet), above which an observation deck and restaurant will offer breathtaking views over the Gulf of Finland.

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The Lakhta Center takes the title of Europe’s tallest building from Moscow’s Federation Tower, completed in 2017, which stands at 374 meters (1,227 feet). Moscow is also home to five of the next six entries in the list, interrupted only by London’s Shard, which was briefly the continent’s tallest in 2012, at 310 meters (1,016 feet) tall. Both St. Petersburg and Moscow are located geographically in the European part of Russia.

Lakhta Center broke ground in 2012 and will serve as the headquarters of Russian gas giant Gazprom, which is carrying out the construction through a subsidiary. The firm is set to move in by the end of 2019.

According to Philip Nikandrov, one of the architects involved with the project, the exterior of the building will be completed by the end of this summer, although the interior fitting will continue into 2019.

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