There’s some jostling in downtown Moscow. Buildings are trying to attract the attention of visitors by using its body or by highlighting their main asset. Give them smart phones (or mobile phones) and they’ll take photos of themselves. Building selfies! Why not!
They compete in a space known as the Moscow International Business Center, known to Muscovites as Moscow-City or Moskva-City. Others call it the Manhattan of Moscow.
It’s a futuristic business area that continues to expand in the heart of the Russian capital. It climbs to the sky, as it also contains four of the five tallest buildings in Europe, including the tallest one. Vladimir Putin and Russian billionaires are ambitious.
What are these buildings?
There’s the very sensual Evolution Tower. It grabs everyone’s attention by twisting to the extreme. The twist is so perfect that it’s almost a spiral.
Each floor is twisted three degrees from the previous one, totalling 135 degrees from base to summit. The architects wanted to use this organic shape to symbolize the bustling life of Moscow unfolding at the foot of the building.
The City of Capitals is the strangest building. The blocks are superimposed to form two towers united by a common base. One represents the city of Moscow, the other Saint-Petersburg. The two cities have been competing for centuries. They have each been capital of the vast Russian territory and they both claim the title of Russia’s “greatest city.” Did the architects want to put an end to this long quarrel by merging the two cities into a single building? IS this the start of a reconciliation?
The very sparkling Federation Tower is not even finished and it’s already a star. Two movies have already been made about it. Once construction is finished, it will be the tallest skyscraper in Europe.
Why has the Federation Tower become a star before it opens? Because the building is used as a high-rise structure for extreme sports. It is a beacon for climbers and base jumpers from around the world. The building will also open its doors to film and television producers. It is what is known as multidisciplinary building.
Right now, the Mercury City Tower is the tallest building in Europe. Gracious, slim, with orange and copper highlights, its beauty is discreet.
A more classic building, the Imperia Tower attracts the eye with its formidable ellipse on the sides, its high tech appearance and emerald highlights.
Although these buildings are office towers above all, they also contain deluxe apartments, shops, restaurants and hotels.
The race to seduce will become even rougher, as other buildings are on the drawing board, including the very turbulent Crystal Island, an immense glass teepee which, according to Le Guide du routard, could house a small village. Others compare it to a gigantic, transparent tent. It looks like a silver cone on a star-shaped base.
- English Wikipedia article on Moscow International Business Center
- English Wikipedia article on Crystal Island
- Moscou, Le Routard, 2014-15, Hachette, 2014, 299 pages
Photos: iStockphoto and Dinozaurus in Wikipedia for the Federation Tower Russia Moscow