Europe officially has a new tallest building. The RMJM-designed Lakhta Centre in St Petersburg, Russia has just been completed and stands at 462 metres high, beating the previous tallest building, Moscow’s Federation Tower, by a mammoth 89 metres.

The Lakhta Centre in St Petersburg is Now Europe's Tallest Building

The twisted Lakta Centre is now the tallest skyscraper in Europe and also the 13th tallest building in the world. Developers Gazprom, will occupy most of the building and also claim it to be the ‘northernmost skyscraper in the world.’ It was initially designed by British architect Tony Kettle during his time at RMJM.

It was inspired by St Petersburg’s Peter and Paul Cathedral and features a 90 degree twist from foundation to tip. Though the external structure was completed back in June, the 87 floors inside the Lakta Centre are currently being fitted and will become the new headquarters for Gazprom, one the world’s largest oil/gas companies.

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To ensure the structure stays in place, foundation piles were driven 82m deep into the ground. Not only is St Petersburg’s terrain relatively soft, winds in the city can reach speeds of up to 87mph at 400m high, meaning a specialised structural system needed to be designed to ensure stability.

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The building’s smooth glass facade is formed of 16,500 pieces of curved glass, with a system of automatic shutters and valves making it energy efficient. Once open to the public, the skyscraper will have an observation deck at the 360-metre point and there’s also plans for Europe’s highest panoramic restaurant.

Two thirds of the office space at the Lakhta Centre will be occupied by Gazprom’s new headquarters, while the other third will be used as public spaces, with a science and education centre, a spherical planetarium, a concert hall, an amphitheatre and several squares set to be installed. Find out more over at the RMJM Website.

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In other architecture news, last week the Royal Institute of British Architects announced the six finalists competing for the annual RIBA Sterling prize to become the ‘best new building in Britain.’

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