Europe's Tallest Tower Tops Out in Moscow

Mere months after it was completed, London's Shard has passed the title of Europe's tallest building to Moscow's Mercury City tower, a "beacon of pink mirrored glass," writes Oliver Wainwright.
November 19, 2012, 5am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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At 339 meters, the Mercury City tower has tilted the race for the title of Europe's tallest building to the east, where Russia is keen to make a statement about its economic development. And it may be a while before Western Europe catches up. As Wainwright reports, "[t]he building joins a motley cluster in the emerging Moscow International Business Centre, a $12bn complex initiated by former mayor Yuri Luzhkov as a playground for rival oligarchs to demonstrate their penile might."

"Designed by the late American architect Frank Williams, working with Moscow's Mikhail Posokhin, the $1bn tower stands as a tapering mountain of trapezoidal blocks. If you screw your eyes up, its faceted steps recall early expressionist architecture and the crystalline forms of Hugh Ferris's New York setback diagrams – only here interpreted with a clumsy commercial bulk."

"Mercury City will not enjoy its title for long: it will soon be overtaken by Federation tower," notes Wainwright, "which takes the form of two triangular blocks connected by sky bridges and penetrated by a great spike, and will soar to 506m."

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Published on Monday, November 5, 2012 in The Guardian
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