Chicago-based structural engineer Halvorson and Partners, in collaboration with London-based Foster and Partners and the STT Group of Moscow, recently celebrated the groundbreaking for the Russia Tower in Moscow. At 1,970 feet and 129 stories, the skyscraper will be the tallest building in Europe when completed in 2012. The 3.7-million-sf mixed-use tower will rise from a triangular site as three tapered wings radiating from a central core and will house apartments, a hotel, offices, and retail space. The tower will include several green features, such as photovoltaics, rainwater collection, and geothermal cooling.
The structural system for this distinct form has been coined a “braced spine.” Similar to a cable-stayed mast, the system utilizes sloping members to brace a central spine. However, instead of tension cables, the brace members are concrete columns arranged in a fan shape. They are visually expressed on the exterior and prop the central concrete core against wind loads; they also carry gravity loads.