Moscow skyscraper designed for attacks
Sunday, July 17, 2005; Posted: 9:48 a.m. EDT (13:48 GMT)
MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- The developer for a skyscraper billed as Europe's tallest says that state-of-the-art construction and design methods will make it safe from plane attacks similar to those that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York.
The futuristic, glass-clad Federation Tower will house offices, a hotel and luxury apartments along the Moscow river in a western region of the Russian capital.
Federation Tower is representative of the construction boom in Moscow.
Its twin, sail-like towers -- the tallest of which will be 340 meters -- are attached to a central 430-meter stiletto-like spire.
In western Europe, the tallest building is Frankfurt's 260-meter Commerzbank tower.
At present the tallest building is Frankfurt's Commerzbank tower.
"The pillars would cut through the plane, and that is all," said Sergei Polonsky, president of Mirax Group, describing the building's resilience to a September 11-style attack.
"Regardless of how many planes hit it, it won't fall down," he said, standing in the shadow of one of the partially completed, reinforced concrete pillars ringing the perimeter of tower B, the smaller of the two.
A recent event saw the official presentation of the big name contractors that will work on the Federation project by Mirax.
They include construction manager Turner Construction, a division of the New York headquartered high-rise construction specialists, structural engineers Thornton-Tomasetti, ThyssenKrupp AG's elevators division and Liebherr, who will be providing cranes.
Mirax have worked on a number of upscale apartment and office projects in Moscow.
Federation Tower is emblematic of the construction boom, which has transformed Moscow's skyline in recent years and filled the city's streets with the rumble of building work.
The skyscraper will form the focal point of the sprawling Moscow City development -- a glass and steel assembly of high-rises-in-the-making, designed as Moscow's answer to Wall Street or the City of London.
The tower will be 420 meters high and the tallest building in Europe.
Sergey Tchoban, from architects Tchoban Voss, said that while it may contrast with Moscow's older buildings, the Federation project would blend in with the capital's eclectic style.
"Moscow is a city of silhouettes ... we hope it will complement and enrich the structure of the city's silhouette," Tchoban said.
But for now it's a silhouette in the making -- tower B is just two floors high and swarming with Turkish and Chinese builders.
So far Mirax Group are not saying how much of the building's office space is taken, but Polonsky was confident that as the biggest building in the capital, they would not need to take out ads in the newspapers.
The Associated Press.