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(January 1 – March 31, 2021)

John Wilson

Saffron Square

Andrew Varlamov

High-rise building of Lakhta Center

Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

February 18, 2021 - 12:00 GMT+0

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© 2021 Andrew Varlamov, All Rights Reserved.


The Gulf of Finland is icebound due to current cold winter, and the high-rise building rounded by ice fields looks like a giant icicle.

Sitting at 462 meters tall, the Lakhta Centre is the tallest building not just in Russia, but in Europe, and will serve as the headquarters for global energy giant, Gazprom.

The tower’s organic ‘spire’ shape symbolises the power of water, while the standout glass facade allows the building to change colour depending on the position of the sun, giving the impression of a living object. The building’s design incorporates several innovative efficiency features, including an ‘intelligent’ glass facade that provides both natural ventilation and thermal insulation, and specially designed micro-climate air conditioning.

16,500 pieces of curved glass were used for the facade of the building – the largest volume of glass ever used on a high-rise building. The tower incorporates 90 floors – 87 elevated and three underground – with a total of 34 elevators placed throughout for ease of mobility. Construction began in 2012 with the pouring of concrete for the foundation taking place in 2015. Roughly 20,000 cubic meters of concrete was poured into the buildings' foundation, and was done within a 49-hour period, enough to earn it a Guinness World Record for the longest continuous pour of concrete.


CameraPentax K-5 IILenssmc PENTAX-DA Fish-Eye 1:3.5-4.5 10-17mm ED (IF)Tripod: Manfrotto 190XB; Panohead: Nodal Ninja 5; PC SoftwarePTGui Pro 10.0.18 by New House Internet Services B.V. (dated by April 17, 2018), Pano2QTVR Pro Flash version 1.6.6 by Thomas Rauscher

Other panoramas shoot the same day

Air temperature was -18 °C, light wind and hard ice.

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