Gazprom, Russia's leading oil company has got big plans as usual. Measured in stock value the company is worth $250 billion, which equals the GNP of 165 out 192 nations in the UN and makes it the fourth largest company in the world â€“ and growing. A company that size needs a fitting headquarters.
On the banks of the Neva river in St. Petersburg, opposite to the famous Peter and Paul Cathedral, Gazprom is planning a 400 meter high skyscraper formed like a gas flame. Actually, the maximum height allowed in this area is only 48 meters, but Gazprom has the support of both the mayor, Valentina Matviyenko, and the president him self, Vladimir Putin, so it shouldn't be very hard to get an exception made, despite the outcry of St. Petersburg architects and citizens who seem to disapprove of the project.
The magnificent construction, almost hundred meters higher than the Eiffel tower in Paris, is designed by RMJM in London, was chosen from several major architecture firms in Europe. "We have created something quite unique and timeless, a beautiful landmark for the city, which will also set new standards for energy conservation and sustainabilityâ€ says Tony Kettle, RMJM's managing director and the lead architect on the project. Kettle says the tower will have a â€œdouble layered skinâ€ allowing for the maximization of daylight and minimization of heat loss and it will change colours according to the light.
If the opposition to the Gazprom in St. Petersburg is too strong, there is also an offer from Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov, the new president of Turkmenistan to build as high building as they like in the capital city of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat.