Fosters’ green giant delayed by 4 years

Niki May Young
Wednesday 04 Feb 2009

Russia Tower is 4 years behind schedule, says Moscow Mayor

Praised and admired at MIPIM 2008 for both its architectural presence and green innovation as the tallest tower with a natural ventilation system, Foster + Partners’ Russia Tower looked set to become a benchmark for sustainable high-rises. In November 2008 however, the Russian news agency Interfax reported that the project had been halted due to the credit crunch. Developer, Russia Land, could no longer afford to continue with the project and attempts to raise revenue from oil company Sibir Energy, were met with a conflict of interest clause in December due to Russia Land’s Head, Shalva Chigirinsky, holding a large amount of shares in the company.

The latest developments come from Russian news source Kommersant who quoted the Moscow Mayor this week as saying the project is now four years behind schedule, meaning a completion date of 2016 is more likely. Furthermore, despite the financial crisis, he is threatening to impose fines for the delay. The 612m tower, which broke ground in September 2007, is to be a key building within the Moscow International Business Centre and was set to provide substantial residential, retail, office and hotel space to the district, its delay could cause a significant economic impact to Moscow. Functioning as a dense ‘vertical city’ the tower would house 25,000 people, with offices, a hotel, shopping and apartments with private gardens.

Foster + Partners are as yet unavailable for comment on the developments but the delay represents one of the major casualties of the financial crisis and no-doubt a severe blow for the London-based firm.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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