New wheel marks Moscow skyline

02 Dec 2011

Gensler's observation wheel to offer stunning visuals of surrounding scenery, whilst aiming to achieve height record

The Vorobiev Hills, an area of Moscow already amply afforded with prestigious landmarks, is set to be embellished further with a striking new feature to its cityscape. Intended to accompany the likes of the Moscow State Circus and the historic Saz Theatre, the Moscow View project will offer visitors unrivalled panoramic views out over Russia’s capital city.

At the heart of plans devised by Gensler is a unique observation wheel, a grand centrepiece to the overall entertainment complex. Erected at the highest point of the region and managing to elevate up to 220m above ground - at its highest point - the visual impact of the surrounding scenery should be at a maximum.

In an effort to ensure that the installation is in no way to the detriment to adjoining areas, the decision was made to either submerge underground or elevate the project’s components. This move is intended as an effective means of retaining the picturesque parklands that will encircle the building’s base whilst procuring a tranquil circulation route for visitors to meander along.

Attaining elements similar to the iconic London eye, passengers will be borne upwards in a series of enclosed capsules - 48 in total - that will glide along a monorail-style ring embedded into a white, metallic exterior. Once disembarked from the design’s dominant feature, additional venues of a cultural, entertainment and retail disposition can be willingly perused in the 30,000 sq m base.

At the epicentre of the complex is an amphitheatre cast around a reflective pool. During the winter months, this practical water pool will freeze over, providing a temporary ice rink. Set in the waters midst, soaring upwards to penetrate the Moscow sky, is a 320m tall, spear-shaped tower. Likely to become the tallest observation wheel in the world, Gensler have managed to take an increasingly popular construction and give it a completely unique look.

Tom Aston

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