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Russia Completes Europe's Tallest Skyscraper - Federation Tower [Video and Photos]

The Tower is mentioned twice in the Guinness Book of Records, and the Business Center as a whole is unprecedented in Russia.

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

A view of the "Moscow City" complex. Federation Tower is the massive two-tower complex to the immediate left of the golden Mercury Tower. The tower is split into two portions, Vostok [East] Tower, the tallest structure in Europe and Zapad [West].

If you look closely, you can see a rainbow surrounding a Russian Orthodox Church on the bottom right.

At long last, Russia finally completed the largest skyscraper in Europe, which rises together with the other towers of Moscow International Business Center. While Federation Tower is the first, the other towers occupy the world record for the second, third, fifth, and sixth largest towers in Europe respectively.

This stunning video from the Russian Evening news beautifully displays this colossus of grey steel and sky blue glass that reflect resplendently the river of Moscow, and the incandescent sun shining over the unconquered capital.

A full transcript of the video can be found at the bottom of the article [skip to it here], along with beautiful photos of the skyscraper complex, taken over its long years of construction.

As stated, Federation Tower is not only the largest in Europe, but its fellow towers also dwarf the others in Europe, occupying the records for the second, third, fifth, and sixth largest spot

Chart of the top five tallest skyscrapers in Europe, four of which are part of the Moscow City complex. The Shard is in London.

The Moscow International Business Center project was first conceived in 1992 to create a monumental feat of architecture worthy of Russia's status as a great power, even if the 1990s was the worst period in its modern history. 

It was built over an old stone quarry in the Presnensky District, near the third ring road, a few kilometers west of Red Square.

The area was chosen for its relative emptiness, having ample room for growth. 

It was an area where the construction of such great structures would not interfere with the city's historical sites, but still close enough to the center of power and administration that it would look like the adornment of a mighty capital.

Most of all, the site was chosen simply because there was room in the ever-growing city of over 12 million people, the largest city located entirely within Europe.

One thing foreigners don't realize about Moscow is how green of a city it is. It is truly a magical place, where you can at one moment be walking past a great urbanized district like the Moscow International Business Center, and then find yourself surrounded by forests and parks, walking amidst medieval Russian Cathedrals and fortresses seamlessly blended into the city's metropolitan center.

Construction on the first tower, tower 2000 and Bagration bridge began in 1996 and ended in 2001. The bridge is a futuristic looking masterpiece which spans the Presnenskaya embankment of the River Moskva (Moscow).

The Bridge is a pedestrian bridge 214 meters in length which stands 13 meters above the river, named in honor of a famous Napoleonic era general, Petro Bagration who fell in battle at Borodino.

The next tower completed was the spiraled "Evolution Tower" resembling a DNA strand, a structure truly unique, but would you be surprised to hear that it has a spiritual legacy dating to the 16th century?

While the design itself is not ancient, the Russian soul has always had a fascination for blending the unique with the triumphal. Look at Saint Basil's Cathedral, incredibly beautiful, but also mysterious and unprecedented in any other form of architecture. It's "tented roof" design is an innovation in Russian Church architecture, which marked the gradual departure from the Byzantine style norm in Orthodox Architecture, that developed into a national Russian style. You could say Evolution Tower follows in that Russian tradition of architectural innovation, especially with regards to their common use of spirals.

Moscow International Business Center was designed to be the first zone in Russia to combine business and corporate activity with luxury residential living space, and entertainment in one single development, according to the advanced and interactive Russian website for the project.

There you can find countless pictures and information about the many stores and business the center hosts. Everything from domestic coffee shops to Starbucks, from hotels to designer clothing lines, cooperate headquarters and private apartments, fine dining and clubs can be found here. Great photography is posted on their Instagram page as well.

Scattered throughout the complex is everything you would expect from an alpha class Global City, these corporate headquarters and vibrant shopping malls make you wonder what the West is thinking sanctioning a country like Russia.

This is not a third world country, but a great power which produces rockets to reach the international space station, and when you visit Moscow City, you feel like you are in an advanced, futuristic place.

The Central Core is a massive partially underground superstructure which hosts a shopping mall in the center of the towers. The grand dome rises from the earth and the fountain can spout water incredibly high.

There are many other structures in the Moscow City underground which inspire awe, however, the completion of the Federation complex set a record for both Russia and all Europe. It is a reminder which European Power towers over all.

Video Transcript


The construction of the Eastern Federation Tower in Moscow is finished. 374 meters and 95 floors. It's the highest residential skyscraper in Europe and one of the most complex engineering projects. The Tower is mentioned twice in the Guinness Book of Records. And, of course, we mustn’t forget the marvelous panorama.

Yaroslav Krasiyenko has seen the new high-rise that changed Moscow’s image.


The Federation Tower, which is almost 400 meters high, is the dominant construction of the business center of Moscow. It took a long time to build. The contractors, clients, and technologies were constantly replacing one another. After 15 years of construction, the building was presented to the State Commission.

High-rise building construction worker: "The air is warm to fully heat the atrium. Look, 26 degrees. Approved."


Everything is being checked. Buildings like this were never built in Russia and in the world. At the groundwork stage, it was already mentioned in the Book of Records. No one has previously used 14,000 tons of extra-strong concrete. The engineers faced new challenges at every stage of the construction.

Dmitry Andreyev, CEO of the client company: "We had all sorts of engineers in our crew developing new standards.”


While the top floors were being built, the tenants were already moving into the first 30 floors. That's the first time that a building was commissioned piecemeal. The builders had advisors from the US, Germany, and China. The building was tested by the May hurricane. At 500 meters, the wind speed reached 200 kph.

Mikhail Smirnov, CEO of ZAO Federation Tower "The building stood almost still. We have an engineering structure monitoring system. What we saw was a slight vibration."

The high-rise building construction worker: "Elevator A26 to the fifth floor."


The elevator literally takes off. At five mechanical floors, there are the newest automatic systems providing energy, water, heat, and fresh air for the whole building.

Oleg Moshkin, top technician of the Federation Tower: We have a reserve engine in case the first one malfunctions. It helps preserve the functional capability."


There are special elevators for firemen that work under any conditions. In case of an emergency, people are evacuated through a concrete shaft that can withstand 4 hours of the highest temperatures. The rooms are equipped with fireproof curtains in order to localize the fire.

Dmitry Stasevich, head of the safety service: "We have emergency water tanks on every mechanical floor that can supply water for fire extinguishment."


The Tower will be commissioned as a conventional residential house, in shell & core fit-out: future tenants will redecorate the rooms themselves. At least 20,000 people will be living and working here at the same time. Those who are not fans of heights should choose the lower floors. All windows are panoramic and not everyone would enjoy being at such height.

Yaroslav Krasiyenko, Ilya Kuzmin, Artem Kuznetsov, and Anna Bolan for Vesti.

Scroll down to see some pictures of the towers from various angles and at various stages of construction:

Note the Church and Rainbow in the bottom right

A view from the north side of the towers:

Across the River:

Scroll down to view the road towards the towers:

Crossing the Bridge:

Moscow Fog:

High Rise:



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