Saint Petersburg Heritage Status Threatened By Gazprom Skyscraper
Russian gas corporation Gazprom is planning to build a 1,322 foot (403m) high skyscraper in the middle of Saint Petersburg's historical district. The glass structure was approved in a government meeting on Tuesday, but UNESCO is warning Russia that the skyscraper may take the city off the list of world heritage sites.
Gazprom's planned skyscraper is unique in its design, as it will take advantage of plant life in regulating its temperature. The proposed structure will have two layers of glass, with hundreds of trees and other plants heating the building in the winter and cooling it in the summer. The building was designed by British architecture firm RMJM.
The skyscraper, called the Okhta Centre, is to be built on the banks of the Large Okhta river. According to Russian media, the usual maximum height in the area is 100 metres (328 feet), meaning the tower would loom over Saint Petersburg's historic centre.
With temperatures in St. Petersburg rising to 30 degrees Celsius in the summer and plummeting to minus 30 in the winter, Whitman says, the design will be able to regulate the temperature without the need for expensive air conditioning or heating systems.