Lakhta Center is a multifunctional complex in St. Petersburg with the Gazprom headquarter and public spaces occupying a third of the area. Construction was completed in October 2018, now start work on the arrangement of business and public areas. The opening will take place in about a year, when the complex will be fully prepared to meet guests.
Lakhta Center Officially Commissioned
On October 16, 2018 Lakhta Center MFC JSC received authorization for commissioning of the facility. The relevant document was officially published by the State Construction Supervision and Inspection Service of Saint Petersburg, Russia. There is about a year to go until the opening of Lakhta Center Multifunctional Complex, its dominant being the tallest skyscraper of Europe.
Built upon the project
The preliminary acceptance works started in February 2018: the cadastral engineers entered the site. The measurement of the premises of the four facilities of the complex occupying 400 thousand sq. m took half a year. In autumn 2018 the State Acceptance Commission checked all the parameters and documentation of Lakhta Center: the installation and construction works for conformity to the project, land layout, hydrogeological documentation, conformity to fire and ecological safety, readiness of public utilities, and many other things. The comprehensive inspection resulted in the statement of conformity of the built facility to the project documentation and authorization for commissioning of Lakhta Center.
Opening within a year
The authorization for commissioning is the full stop in the history of the construction period of Lakhta Center. It also launches the final countdown to the moment of opening of the complex. The final preparation of the business and public space by operators and tenants will take at least a year: completion of the finishing, fit-out of the premises, installation of equipment and improvement works. In the meantime the following will be prepared for reception of visitors: the highest panoramic restaurant in Europe at the level of 315 meters and a sky deck at the mark of 360 meters, a modern spherical planetarium with the sky panorama including 10 mln. stars, sports facilities with a panoramic swimming pool, an educational center for children and youth, exhibition space, an amphitheater on the coast, a concert hall with the possibility of 15 transformations and open space for wide audience forming a new environment of the global level. Within the same time the related structures are to complete the fit-out of the embankments and connection of the complex to the street and road network to which end two elevated roads with a dedicated cycle-pedestrian sidewalk were built across Lakhta harbor.
The date of opening of the complex will be determined by the moment of full readiness of the complex for reception of employees and visitors.
Lakhta Center is the innovative multifunctional complex in Saint Petersburg with Gazprom Group headquarters and public space. The construction of the complex was carried out for 6 years from October 2012 till October 2018. The architectural dominant of Lakhta Center, the skyscraper 462 meter high, has become the tallest building of Europe. About 600 Russian and foreign companies and over 20,000 people from 18 countries are involved in the project implementation.
Lakhta Center consists of four facilities of the total area of over 400,000 sq. m:
- 87-storey skyscraper twisting by 90 degrees from the foundation to the top in accordance with the complex geometry and architecture of the building;
- Multifunctional building;
- Arch – a separate building – entrance to the complex;
- Stylobate concealing the parking lot, warehouses and logistic driveway.
Results of the construction period
The erection of Lakhta Center Multifunctional Complex is a global level event in the sphere of construction, architecture, scientific support, management, and technologies. The six-year period has witnessed creation of unique developments, opening of co-production; the Russian industry has made significant step towards integration to the best world practices in the construction and architecture sphere.
First skyscraper on Vendian clays
The Lakhta Center tower, the tallest skyscraper of Europe, reaching the mark of 462 m was built on the coast of the Gulf of Finland in the absence of rocky ground. The tower foundation ground is Vendian clays. Although the density of this ground is close to hard rocks, a huge volume of scientific researches was carried out for the tower erection as there was practically no experience of construction on Vendian clays as the support layer in the world.
More than two thousand piles
The pile field of the complex consists of more than 2 thousand piles of different length and diameter. The deepest piles are under the tower lying down to the marks of minus 82 meters and being two meters in diameter.
The foundations of the complex facilities are a work of construction art. The area of the raft foundation of the Multifunctional building is more than 2 hectares. The box-shaped foundation of the Lakhta Center tower consists of three slabs, the lower one being an absolute monolith 3,600 m high with the volume of 19,624 sq. m. The pouring was carried out by the builders simultaneously within 49 hours, which became a world record.
Timeframes against the wind
One of the most complicated issues related with the erection of the complex appeared to be the wind. At elevations it is much stronger than the ground wind: the builders recorded wind blasts from 120 to 140 km/hour, which is the highest wind strength level according to the Beaufort scale. The storm warnings forced to stop the work of cranes and people on open structures. There were 159 storm warnings in 2015, 258 in 2016, and 176 in 2017; the operation of installation of the final spire structure most heavily dependent on the weather accounted for 18 days with strong wind. Nevertheless, the construction was completed on time.
To decrease horizontal vibrations 5 outrigger levels were introduced into the tower structure, and as a result of their operation the skyscraper vibrations at the level of 360 meters may amount to maximum 27 cm, although by the results of real measurements the tower manifests still greater spatial rigidity. The world practice considers it admissible when supertall facilities may deviate from the axis by 1.5 m and more.
Tallest tower cranes in Europe
The complexity of the design of the tower cranes which erected the Lakhta Center skyscraper is the impossibility of getting secured to the building with holding tie collars already from the marks of 355 meters. At over one hundred meters of the construction higher there is a separately standing part which experienced considerable wind and snow loads. These factors were also taken into account beforehand, during the crane engineering yet. The height of their towers at the construction peak exceeded 400 m; the highest one, K3, reached 479.65 m during the installation of the spire top. During the crane engineering account was also taken of the big wind loads. The cranes were designed for the crane stability with the wind of up to 164 km/hour.
Most northern skyscraper in the world
The climatic conditions were taken into account during the complex design and construction. The most complicated task was development of the antiicing system of the tower based on scientific developments and two series of trials in Russia and Canada. Passive protection is the spire façade consisting of a grid decreasing windage and preventing formation of the ice or snow sheet in the spire zone. The active protection comes into action when required and actuates the heating elements laid on certain sections of the spire profile. This system has no analogs in the world.
The glass of the complex façade plays the role of the walls and fully corresponds to its function. Although the façade is not a bearing structural element, it withstands the distributed load at the level of 400 kgf/m2, which corresponds to the analogous parameter of concrete floors in some buildings of standard series. The multiple glass units with the minimal heat conductivity and maximum airtightness are an important part of the energy efficiency of the complex certified according to the LEED international ecological standard. 50 types of façade glazing were used in the Multifunctional building. The tower façade has cold formed multiple glass units. The total volume of the complex glazing is 130 thous. sq. m with 72.5 thous. sq. m in the tower, which is the biggest volume of cold formed glazing in the world.
The facilities of the complex are characterized by a complex architectural form. The Multifunctional complex has a variable number of storeys with the height difference from 22 to 83 m and the 260-meter length of the façade. Following the geometry of the building the Lakhta Center tower expands up to the 16th floor, then narrows down and twists around its axis by 90° from the foundation to the spire. The facade service system was specially designed for the facilities of the complex. The most interesting solution is presented in the tower: there are “rails” running along its sides along which “a train”, platforms with washmen, will move. The climbers on the spire will use electric hoists.
Fast, load lifting, double-decked
The vertical transport system of the Lakhta Center tower, its installation having started in 2016, includes 40 elevators. They include, among other things, double-decked cabins, cabins with the lifting capacity of 5 tons, which is practically the limit value so far, expresses running at the velocity of 8 m/sec, which makes them the fastest elevators in Russia.
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