Moscow's historic Shukhov Radio Tower has fallen into disrepair and may soon be lost permanently, argues Vladimir Shukhov, the great-grandson of the engineer and architect who designed the tower (also called Vladmir Shukhov). The 90-year-old tower was built during the Russian Civil War and is an archetype of the Russian avant-garde movement.
“If the tower is not put into order, or if real work on it – on a professional, international basis – is not begun…it would be simpler to order that the tower be demolished, so that it shames neither my ancestors nor our country,” the great-grandson said at a news conference in Moscow.
The Shukhov Tower Foundation is leading an effort to save the 160-meter tall (525-foot) hyperboloid tower. It was commissioned by Lenin and constructed between 1920 and 1922 using a lattice shell technique that Vladmir Shukhov patented, the Art Newspaper reports.
The Shukhov tower reportedly inspired Norman Foster's Gherkin in London as well as the Canton Tower designed by Dutch architects Mark Hemel and Barbara Kuit.
Last year, Vladimir Putin ordered the allocation of RUB135 million ($4.1 million) for a reconstruction of the radio tower. However, the Shukhov Tower Foundation fears that a reconstruction, instead of a restoration, could result in an unsatisfactory replica.
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A new CTBUH research report on telecommunications towers can be found here.