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Old Posted Dec 28, 2010, 2:22 AM
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M II A II R II K M II A II R II K is offline
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St Petersburg's tower to the sky fails to get off the ground

- This week, after months of uncertainty and contradictory statements from high-ranking Russian politicians, the final nail seems to have been hammered into the coffin of the project. A St Petersburg court ruled that limits on the height of new buildings on the embankment of the Okhta River, just outside the historical city centre, would be reintroduced. They had controversially been lifted by the city authorities to smooth the path for the Gazprom project. Now, no new structures in the area will be able to exceed 40m in height.

This means that there is no place for the Okhta Centre, designed by British architectural firm RMJM. The sleek, glass-clad structure, at 403m high, would have been the tallest building in Europe and more than 10 times over the new maximum height. St Petersburg was seen as a symbolic choice for the HQ of Gazprom – a behemoth of a company that more than any other has been the driving force behind Russia's resource-based economic boom.