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RMJM’s Gazprom skyscraper avoids another legal wrangle

A Russian court has ditched an appeal against RMJM’s controversial 455m-tall Gazprom skyscraper in St Petersburg, Russia

The Smolninski district court maintained the legality of planning permission granted in September despite opposition to the scheme by UNESCO and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev.

UNESCO warned in 2008 construction of the scheme in its current form would jeopardise the historic city’s world heritage status.

Medvedev last week ordered the city’s authorities to follow UNESCO’s advice. The district court however refused to abandon permission for RMJM to breach city height restrictions by 355 metres.

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin last week however voiced his support for the project.

Famous for its low-rise stuccoed buildings the eighteenth-century city was designed to a strict classical design code. Tall buildings include gold-plated spires and a soviet-era broadcast tower but skyscrapers have yet to be built.

RMJM’s Okhta Center, rumoured to cost $3 billion, could be the tallest structure in Europe if constructed. It is designed as headquarters for Gazprom subsidiary, Gazprom Neft.

A spokesman for the practice said: ‘The pathway is not yet clear for the scheme. This court case is one of several going on at the moment.’

Readers' comments (5)

  • I understand that the decision, a very strange one, will be appealed.

    UNESCO will put St Petersburg on the World Heritage At Risk List if there is no clear decison to ditch this terrible development very soon.

    This is worth reading and watching

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  • Good on them, We cant keep having cities with 1 era / style of architecture, they must evolve like everything else. They are just evolving it from the past to the present and into the future!

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  • Of course there are idiots and philistines everywhere... this is a World Heritage Site after all. It should be protected from bad developments like the Okhta Tower.

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  • I am getting sick of people pushing their hidden agenda behind the words 'conservation', 'green this' and 'green that'; life must go on. Humans should retain the freedom to be creative and pave the way for the evolution of architecture and the environment.

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  • This is not 'evolution' it's destruction.

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