Architecture

Twisting megatall skyscraper would soar over Saint Petersburg

Twisting megatall skyscraper w...
The Lakhta Center II is envisioned for Saint Petersburg, Russia
The Lakhta Center II is envisioned for Saint Petersburg, Russia
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The Lakhta Center II is envisioned for Saint Petersburg, Russia
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The Lakhta Center II is envisioned for Saint Petersburg, Russia
The Lakhta Center II would feature a distinctive twisting form that reaches a height of 703 m (2,306 ft)
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The Lakhta Center II would feature a distinctive twisting form that reaches a height of 703 m (2,306 ft)
The Lakhta Center II's twisting design would help it withstand the severe wind loads that buildings face at extreme heights
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The Lakhta Center II's twisting design would help it withstand the severe wind loads that buildings face at extreme heights
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China currently boasts the world's second-tallest skyscraper, but it may be surpassed by a new megatall tower in Europe – if, that is, UK firm Kettle Collective manages to realize its ambitious proposal. Named the Lakhta Center II, the building is envisioned for Saint Petersburg, Russia, and would feature a twisting form that reaches a dizzying height of 703 m (2,306 ft).

The name Lakhta Center II references the original Lakhta Center, which at 462 m (1,515 ft) in height is Europe's tallest skyscraper (it's also 14th tallest worldwide). That first Lakhta Center was designed by Kettle Collective's Tony Kettle back when he worked at RMJM (it was then completed by Gorproject), and the Lakhta Center II would be situated nearby.

The Lakhta Center II's twisting form and spire-like tip references Saint Petersburg's famous church spires and is designed to reduce the crushing wind loads buildings face at such heights. The megatall would consist of 150 floors and its top floor would be at a height of roughly 590 m (1,935 ft), making it the highest occupied floor and viewing point in the world – even higher than the Burj Khalifa's – though to be clear, the Burj's overall height would see it remain as the tallest skyscraper in the world at 829.8 m (2,723 ft).

The tower's interior layout would include office space, residential areas, and amenities, with triple-height atriums and green spaces breaking up the monotony of all that steel and glass. Occupants would travel around using multi-car elevators that get some of their power from regenerative drives.

The Lakhta Center II's twisting design would help it withstand the severe wind loads that buildings face at extreme heights
The Lakhta Center II's twisting design would help it withstand the severe wind loads that buildings face at extreme heights

"The new Lakhta Center will be a template of sustainable design for global high-rise projects," says 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 center 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 spiraling 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."

Fancy renders are all well and good but of course the big question with this one is how likely this design is to go ahead. A Kettle Collective representative told us that the project is still in the early design phase, suggesting it's not a done deal yet – so we'll keep you posted.

Source: Kettle Collective

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Nelson Hyde Chick
The promoters of this project said, "The new Lakhta Center will be a template of sustainable design for global high-rise projects," which considering what will be needed to pull this project off is a oxymoron.