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Monday, June 22, 2009

Russia Tower, Moscow, Russia

Foster's dreams of tallest tower in Europe flattened
In February we brought you the news of severe delays for Russia Tower, Foster's 612m super-tower set for Moscow. It was supposed to be the tallest tower in Europe, a strong emblem for Russia and an enviable eco-build, but the Tower has been plagued with financial trauma after financial trauma. Now, in what could prove to be the final nail in the coffin, the development is rumoured to be turning into a car park instead.

In November 2008, Russian news agency Interfax reported that the project had been halted due to the credit crunch. Developer, Russia Land, could no longer afford to continue with the project, having failed to raise the estimated $2billion necessary. Subsequent attempts to raise revenue from oil company Sibir Energy were met with a conflict of interest clause in December due to Russia Land’s Head, Shalva Chigirinsky, holding a large amount of shares in the company. Come February the project was looking to be on very shaky ground when the Mayor of Russia let slip that the project would likely be delayed by four years and, despite the financial crisis, threatened fines as a result of delays.

Having broken ground in September 2007, the project should have been well under way, its initial completion set for 2012. But with little progress, rumours from Russian press are that the land could now be used as a car park. A spokesperson for Foster + Partners, however, said that they can have little comment at the moment as, 'we have not had confirmation of the project's outcome, the client is looking into a number of options for the site'.

Niki May Young
News Editor

architecture NOW

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