The Shukhov Tower, a showpiece of Russian avant-garde architecture in southern Moscow, may have to be dismantled in order to save it from collapse.

The 150-metre radio tower, the first in Russia, was built in the early 1920s to promulgate communism. It is named after its creator Vladimir Shukhov, an engineer who pioneered its hyperboloid design, a steel lattice structure with an inward curve.

The Communications and Press Ministry has stipulated that only by immediately dismantling the tower can it be saved, as it is at serious risk of collapse. Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov told Russian daily newspaper Izvestia: "The only possible option for a solution to the problem is a two-stage reconstruction and renovation of the radio tower, which stipulates in the first stage its dismantling for the conservation and preservation of elements for later restoration.” 

An alternative suggestion has also been tabled in which ownership of the tower would pass to the Ministry of Culture, who would look after the historic building. At this moment it is unclear what the fate of the tower will be but a decision is set to be made by the end of February. 

World-renowned architects such as Norman Foster have campaigned to save the tower from disrepair. In a letter in 2010, Foster, who cites the tower was a source of inspiration for his “Gherkin” skyscraper in London, described the tower as "a structure of dazzling brilliance and great historic importance". 

Funding for restoration has been pledged by the government since 2010, however the 135 million roubles (£2.7m) is now not enough to cover the full restoration. The Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network, owners of the tower, estimate the cost now stands at 373 million roubles (£7.5m).

Source: The Moscow Times

Share on LinkedIn Share via Email