Edinburgh practice to design world’s second tallest tower

AN Edinburgh-based architecture practice is to design the world’s second tallest tower in Russia.

Kettle Collective revealed the tower will be built in St Petersburg and at 703 metres high, will be the second highest skyscraper in the world, just below Dubai’s famous Burj Khalifa (828m).

The tower will stand alongside Europe’s tallest building, the Lakhta Center (462m), which is the headquarters for energy giant Gazprom. Although the Burj Khalifa is taller, the new Lakhta Centre II will boast the highest occupied floor and viewing gallery of any building in the world.

Design lead is Tony Kettle, who is also behind the Falkirk Wheel. Kettle designed the Lakhta Centre when he worked at architectural firm RMJM after creating the winning design in an international competition for the Gazprom tower in 2006.

The tower will house multi-car lifts, powered by regenerating energy from the movement of the lift and is seen as a complimentary development to the first Lakhta Center. Kettle explained that the build will include requirements ‘universally recognised as essential for the office of the future’, including accommodation and relaxation spaces.

“The new Lakhta Center will be a template of sustainable design for global high-rise projects,” said Tony Kettle. “It will have the best-in-class low energy design and a mix of uses that will create a vertical atrium space with a vibrant centre as the heart for this new business district.

“The design is both aesthetic and functional as it will reduce considerable wind forces that will impact the structure, in turn reducing the size of structural elements required within the building. The tower is born out of a daring idea that has been inspired by energy in all of its forms, from helical waves generated around deep space quasars to the spirals of wave energy. The outer layer of the building is created from spiralling columns that form an open organic helical diagrid, while the structure is carved out by a series of spiral atriums shared with vertical public spaces.”

Kettle MD Colin Bone added, “Given its prominence and celebration of energy and sustainability, this project will be more than a city landmark, it will have national significance showcasing Russia on the world stage, as an investor in business, innovation and creative thinking.

“This is a hugely significant partnership for our studio and has come at a time of considerable global challenge, not just for Kettle Collective but for our industry as we navigate the impact of the pandemic. It highlights our extensive experience in the design of new buildings and communities across the world that are not only truly sustainable, but that celebrate the place.”