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."