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Foster & Partners plans 'cut-diamond' observation tower in Siberia

Foster & Partners has unveiled designs for a mixed-use observation tower in Russia's oil-rich but inhospitable Siberian Khanty-Mansi region.

Earmarked for a wooded hill plot overlooking Khanty-Mansiysk - the administrative centre of Khanty-Mansi - the 56-storey structure rises 280m and covers roughly 161,500m2 at ground level.

Various uses are planned, including a 49,0002 hotel, shopping and leisure facilities, office space and residential units. At the summit, a viewing platform and restaurant will provide views over Khanty-Mansiysk.

Foster & Partners' design also features two distinctive podiums - both seven storeys high and clad like 'cut diamond' - incorporated into the body of the tower.

According to the architect, the tower will be sheltered from 'harsh' local conditions and will tap sustainable energy including solar gain.

'Key to the energy performance of the building are its atria, designed to facilitate solar gain and to encourage daylight to permeate the complex,' Foster and Partners added.

by Clive Walker

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