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City news, 06.12.2006 15:00

RMJM to build Gazprom Headquarters in Petersburg

RMJM Project of Gazprom City Edinburgh-based architectural firm RMJM has been given the go-ahead to build the headquarters of Russia's state-controlled energy firm Gazprom in St Petersburg.

The designers, who worked with Catalan architect Enric Miralles on the Scottish Parliament, beat five other international firms to win the lucrative £2.4bn contract.

The £303m skyscraper project has been dubbed 'Gazprom City'.

Critics of the twisting glass needle building, to be situated close to the Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge and Smolny Cathedral, say it is out of synch with the Russian city's historic setting.

The 396-metre five-sided structure, taller than the Eiffel Tower, will change colour according to the light, architects said.

Tony Kettle, RMJM UK managing director and lead architect on the project, said: 'There has been much debate and opposition to introducing a building of this height to St Petersburg, but when you consider Paris, a city with an equally precious environment, it has been made even more special by the 324-metre high Eiffel Tower.

'We have created something quite unique and timeless, a beautiful landmark for the city which will also set new standards for energy conservation and sustainability.

'Gazprom is one of the world’s most important energy companies and it is fitting that in a city of spires, this new spire should symbolise the importance of energy.'

RMJM said the ecological design would act as a low-energy 'fur coat', with double-layered skin to maximise daylight and minimise heat loss.

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(c) 2000