Mikhail Milchik, a member of the Federal Council for the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of St. Petersburg, said that at the exhibition of six projects of skyscrapers of foreign stars presented in the closed competition of Gazprom, everyone was offered voting ballots for the best work, which included all the projects, but without columns “against all”, which deprived the residents of “legally” to express their attitude to the very idea of the competition. In turn, the St. Petersburg newspaper "Vedomosti" organized a similar poll on its website to find out the true reaction of the townspeople - a vote in which more than 10 thousand people have participated so far showed that 90% are against construction.
If at a press conference held by the Union of Architects of Russia in October, the project of skyscrapers existed only in the imagination of the public, now all the speakers agreed that the predictions are justified - indeed, the surrounding buildings will become toys in comparison with any of the skyscrapers, which, according to the presented projects do not even reach 300, 320 meters. All the participants of the briefing, Y. Gnedovsky, M. Milchik, D. Sarkisyan, M. Khrustaleva and Rosbalt representative Andrey Fadeev expressed dissatisfaction with the competition projects. Director of the Museum of Architecture David Sargsyan said that he personally knows four of the six nominees, was surprised at such a poor quality of the works presented and even offered to make a large exhibition-answer in order to better demonstrate the "complete failure" of his familiar stars.
Marina Khrustaleva, chairman of the board of the Moscow Society for the Protection of Architectural Heritage (MAPS), called Western stars in the context of Russia guest performers and guest workers who are looking for the development of new lands and from whom there is no need to expect a revelation. “We see that they have not invested much in this project - maybe the time of the competition was too short, maybe they thought the proposed amount was too small, maybe they just didn’t believe that it would be built, but what they did resemble the competition of the 1920s students ".
The competition and the very setting of the task, in the general opinion of all those present, is aggressively antisocial. Sargsyan believes that the project is a test for lice, a test of civil society - whether it exists or not, whether we can resist what the authorities are doing. “If we can defend this, then the cultural heritage of Russia has a future, if not, then we can put an end to this and close the shop. If the project is implemented, St. Petersburg will follow the path of Moscow, where there is almost no historical center, instead of which we have a mixture of a Turkish city, Las Vegas and Disneyland."
Marina Khrustaleva in her speech generally made quite far-sighted conclusions - “the construction of such a shocking and defiant structure, which clearly shows unabashed phallocentrism and a desire to demonstrate the existing vertical of power - this is cheap architecture, in the sense that it is measured only by money. … The fact is that St. Petersburg is now 303 years old and if nothing global happens, it will stand for the same amount of time. Gazprom is only 14 years old, and in about the same number of years, if a miracle does not happen, the company will lose its significance for obvious reasons - the raw materials economy cannot flourish forever. And then this building will become empty and dilapidated, and will stand as a phantom over the entire city."
The most active oppositionist on today's front is naturally the St. Petersburg community, among whose professionals young people have joined - the student organization "Living City" held several actions, including in front of the Academy building. As for the nominees themselves, the authors of the projects, they are still not officially notified about the illegality of the competition and the project requirements. But even if this were done, it is impossible to say for sure whether this will change the situation or not.
At the briefing, it was reported that the Union of Architects of Russia received a letter from President V. Putin with a request to describe exactly which norms were violated.