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Giant skyscraper

Scottish architect designs world’s second tallest tower

New tower: Lakhta Center II

A Scottish architect who designed the Falkirk Wheel is behind plans to build one of the world’s tallest buildings.

Tony Kettle of the Kettle Collective is lead design for the Lakhta Centre II on the outskirts of St Petersburg.

At 703 metres it will be the second highest skyscraper in the world, just shorter than Dubai’s famous Burj Khalifa (828m). It will be more than double the height of London’s Shard (310m). 

It will boast the highest occupied floor and viewing gallery of any building in the world, soaring above the Shanghai Tower (632m), which is currently the second tallest structure.

Europe’s tallest building is the Lakhta Center (462m),  which is the headquarters for energy giant Gazprom, also in St Petersburg. 

Kettle Collective was formed in 2012 with a focus on creating high performance and energy efficient designs. 

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Mr Kettle designed the Lakhta Centre when he worked at architecture firm RMJM after creating the winning design in an international competition for the Gazprom tower in 2006. 

The new tower will house pioneering multi-car lifts, powered by regenerating energy from the movement of the lift and is seen as a complementary development to the first Lakhta Center.

The build will include requirements universally recognised as essential for the office of the future – accommodation and relaxation spaces fulfilling the ‘live, work, and play’ needed in a 21st century business centre.  

“The new Lakhta Center will be a template of sustainable design for global high-rise projects,” said Mr Kettle. “It will have the best-in-class low energy design and a mix of uses that will create a vertical atrium space with a vibrant centre as the heart for this new business district. 

“The design is both aesthetic and functional as it will reduce considerable wind forces that will impact the structure, in turn reducing the size of structural elements required within the building. 

“The tower is born out of a daring idea that has been inspired by energy in all of its forms, from helical waves generated around deep space quasars to the spirals of wave energy.

“The outer layer of the building is created from spiralling columns that form an open organic helical diagrid, while the structure is carved out by a series of spiral atriums shared with vertical public spaces.”

The announcement comes on the back of the firm’s recent Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development. This was the second Queen’s Award for Kettle Collective, which is one of only 17 businesses recognised for Sustainable Development in the UK.  

The Lakhta Center II 

  • The building will stand 703 metres high with approximately 220,000m2 of accommodation and set over 150 floors 
  • The top floor will be approximately 590m, making it the highest occupied floor and viewing gallery in the world 
  • A vertical urban environment, it will be made up of 8 segments of 16 floors with triple height atrium space levels and shared public facilities 
  • Each section will include amenities and green space to cater for residents and visitors – similar to a low-rise development, but more easily accessible removing the need for car transport 
  • The tower’s core will house pioneering multi-car lifts, powered by regenerating energy from the lift movement  
  • There will be an added podium which will service accommodation and car parking.  


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