Ground Broken on Europe's Tallest Building

Nov. 7, 2007

Chicago-based structural engineers Halvorson and Partners, in collaboration with London-based Foster and Partners and the STT Group of Moscow, celebrated the ground breaking for the Russia Tower in Moscow on September 18. Expected to be Europe's tallest building when completed in 2012, this super-tall structure will redefine the Moscow skyline.

Located in the Moska City development area, the 129-story, 1,970-foot-tall building will be 516 feet taller than the roof of the Sears Tower.

The 3,700,000-square-foot mixed-use tower will rise from a triangular site as three tapered wings radiating from a central core and will house apartments, a hotel, offices, and retail space.

The innovative structural system for this distinct form has been coined a "braced spine" system. Halvorson and Partners developed the concept for super-tall structures to respond to design challenges and opportunities presented by this project. Similar to a cable-stayed mast, this system uses sloping members to brace a central spine.

However, instead of tension cables, the brace members are concrete columns arranged in a fan shape. They are visually expressed on the exterior and prop the central concrete core against wind loads as well as carry gravity loads.

Demonstrating its dedication to sustainable growth, the tower will use photovoltaic cells in the upper structure to produce electricity that can be fed back into the city's power grid. The tower will also feature systems to collect rainwater and snow to help reduce the freshwater required and to harness the heat created by offices in the winter and the cooling properties of the ground in summer to reduce energy demand.

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