Much has already been said and written about the prospective skyscraper "Gazprom City" at the mouth of the Okhta River opposite the Smolny Monastery. Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller and Governor Valentina Matvienko said that the building should be as high as the ground will allow, the figure was named 300 meters.
In response, the St. Petersburg Union of Architects wrote an open letter to the governor, published in early July. The letter said that the estimated height of the skyscraper is twice the spire of the Peter and Paul Cathedral, more than three times that of Isaac and the Cathedral of the Smolny Monastery. In addition, a maximum elevation of 48 meters is envisaged for the construction area. The construction of a skyscraper may entail the exclusion of the historical center of the city from the UNESCO World Heritage List. it will be visible from almost everywhere, and in comparison with it all the historical dominants of the city will seem "toy". The letter from the architects also mentioned the concept of the "skyline" of St. Petersburg, introduced by D.S. Likhachev during the successful struggle with the project of a 120-meter tower at the mouth of the Neva.
The architects were supported by the director of the Hermitage, Mikhail Piotrovsky, who called the Gazprom tower a threat to the integrity of St. Petersburg. After that, in July, a check of the museum funds took place, followed by very wide publicity in the media of the fact that part of the exhibits were found missing by the inspectors. Journalists soon linked Piotrovsky's troubles with his active position in relation to the Gazprom skyscraper, as well as to the construction in the historical center of St. Petersburg in general.
Around the same time, at the end of July, Vice Governor Alexander Vakhmistrov, who oversees the building block, called the 300-meter height "Miller's personal opinion" and tried to reassure journalists that the building would not necessarily reach this mark.
At the same time, it was discovered that only foreign architects, mainly specialists in skyscrapers, were invited to participate in the competition. Among those who made it to the second round were Daniel Libeskind, Rem Koolhaas, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Massimiliano Fuchsas, Richard Rogers. The winner of the competition must be selected in November.
Probably connected with this is the statement made right now by the Union of Architects of Russia, which joined the letter of St. Petersburg colleagues, called the competition "violating all international and domestic norms and rules" and, having organized a press conference on November 2, urged Russian and foreign architects not to participate in the work jury.