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The new European capital of skyscrapers? That would be Moscow


Five out of the 10 tallest skyscrapers in Europe are currently located in Moscow, including the tallest building in Europe, called Mercury City. But not only in relation to the building height has Moscow left its competitors behind. It’s also the European city with the most skyscrapers: altogether, Moscow counts 87 buildings that are at least 100 meters high or have more than 40 floors. More than two-thirds of them are not older than nine years. This makes Moscow the new European capital of skyscrapers, as the architecture experts from Emporis (www.emporis.com), the world’s leading building database, have concluded during a data analysis.

Even the London-based skyscraper The Shard, inaugurated in July and celebrated as Europe’s tallest building with a height of 310 meters, has been overshadowed by Mercury City: though not yet completed, it has already outperformed The Shard. After its completion, Mercury City will be nearly 29 meters taller than its competitor in London.

While high-rise construction is booming in Moscow, Frankfurt am Main, the German city that proudly presented itself as “Mainhattan” in the past, has been defeated and placed at the ranking’s bottom: Though the city has been the European centre of skyscraper architecture for a long time, the Commerzbank Tower and the MesseTurm now occupy only the positions seven and nine of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers.

There are numerous reasons for the construction boom in Moscow. For Matthew Keutenius, data analyst at Emporis, different factors are crucial: “Many Russian and foreign investors focus on prestigious building projects, such as are being built in the new urban district Moscow City, where Mercury City is located, too. Furthermore, there are less building regulations in Moscow than in other European metropolises.”

Besides The Shard, only Sapphire Tower in Istanbul comes close to the Russian skyscrapers: The tower, designed by Tabanlioglu Architects, is 261 meters tall and thus only three meters shorter than Triumph-Palace in Moscow. This building, designed by TROMOS in the Russian “gingerbread style,” occupies the fifth place.

Compared to international high -ise architecture, the European skyscrapers are rather small. Even though the three tallest European buildings all hit the 300 meters mark, the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper with a height of 828 meters, is two-and-a-half times taller than Mercury City will be after completion. The Torre de Cristal, which holds the 10th place, only reaches one-third of Burj Khalifa’s height.


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