With its height of 462 meters, the Lakhta Center in St. Petersburg is the tallest skyscraper in Europe. Like a needle, the curved glass façade of the tower uniformly spirals towards the sky. Gartner has clad the tower, which is located northwest of the city center, with a total façade area of around 100,000 sqm (over 1 million sq ft). At the five exterior corners of the building, glazed atria spanning over two storeys allow for natural ventilation. These ventilated lounges, in addition to the high thermal insulation of the façade and an improved daylight use due to the panoramic glazing and other advanced technologies, make Lakhta Center a Green Building, featuring among the tallest naturally ventilated skyscrapers worldwide.
462 m / 1516 ft
87 stories tall
Lakhta Center has been built on a ground space of 170,000 sqm (1.8 million sq ft) on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, in the Primorsky district around 10 km north-west of the city center of St. Petersburg. The office tower with a free public observation deck at the height of around 360 m (1,181 ft) will become the heart of a modern business center with a variety of public functions and a new City thus relieving the historic center. The dynamic and slender shape of the new skyscraper results from its unique geometry. The building designed by architects RMJM under the guidance of Tony Kettle and adapted by the Russian Architects ZAO Gorproject resembles a twisted needle or a flame. Starting from a relatively small ground floor area, the tower reaches its largest diameter at around the first quarter of its height, then tapering sharply.
With numerous tests in Gundelfingen, Canada and St. Petersburg, we were able to validate our theoretical assumptions and eliminate any remaining imperfections. Gartner took care of every detail and optimized the design according to our ideas. This tailor-made façade is characterized by outstanding structural-physical properties. It not only protects the future users of the high-rise from wind and weather, but also offers a high level of comfort thanks to excellent thermal insulation
Sergey Nikiforov, Chief Engineer of Lakhta
Design & engineering, manufacturing and installation of 73,240 sqm (788,400 sq ft) of external façade featured by parallelogram shaped units with glass panes cold-bent up to 40 mm. 25,410 sqm (273,500 sq ft) of internal façades for the atria at the building corners plus stainless steel cladding of the spire for an overall area of 100,000 sqm (over 1 million sq ft).
The floor plan is based on five building wings around a small circular core for elevators, sanitary and technical rooms. The five building corners or wings accommodate offices and meeting rooms. The twisted floors give the tower its special dynamics. Each floor slab is twisted by 0.82 degrees towards the subjacent floor slab resulting in the tower as a whole twisting 89 degrees from base to tip. Nevertheless, the tower with its gross floor area of around 163,000 sqm (1.7 million sq ft) seems to uniformly and elegantly spiral toward the sky. Such effect can be achieved with cold formed glass façades, with the glass bent by 40 mm and elegantly following the dynamic twist of the tower without any disturbing corners and edges.
The 73,240 sqm (788,350 sq ft) exterior façade with a thermal insulation index of 0.66 W/(m² K) and a noise insulation index of Rw = 41 dB, comprises of approx. 2.7 m x 4.2 m parallelogram shaped units with glass panes cold-bent up to 40 mm while the 25,410 sqm (273,500 sq ft) interior façades for the atria are mainly composed of rectangular units.
Above the observation deck, as from a height of 360 m, the last floors have been clad with different steel façade types, a stainless steel mesh and stainless steel profiles, with an elegant design as transparent as glass. For this wind-permeable spire, extensive wind tunnel tests have been performed. Furthermore, a wind testing expertise has been carried out by RWDI in Toronto in order to prevent icing such as icicles, build-up of snow and ice, etc. at various temperatures.
Europe's tallest skyscraper
100,000 sqm of surface (over 1 million sq ft)
16,500 façade elements
7,000 cold-bent glass panes 2,8 x 4,2 m
OWNER: JSC 'Lakhta Center'
ARCHITECT: Designed by RMJM under the guidance of Tony Kettle and adapted by the Russian Architects ZAO Gorproject
End of January 2018, with participation of Gartner the 13 m high stainless steel tower spire was installed, after days waiting for favourable weather conditions, neither too frosty nor too windy. A tower crane has been used to lift the spire (weighing approx. 10 tons) with LED illumination, aircraft warning light and ice-melting heating system on top of the skyscraper where experienced Gartner fitters on the rope have fixed it to the tower.
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