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The Lakhta Centre in Saint Petersburg features the tallest tower in Russia and indeed the whole of Europe, but it is also remarkable for the unusual form and building geography of its Multifunctional Building (MFB). This challenging project called for all of the expertise and experience of the CoxGomyl team in drawing on an extensive range of facade access solutions to deliver comprehensive coverage and all of the required functionality. The Multifunctional Building is, in fact, more architecturally complex than the tower, featuring two distinct north and south sections which are linked by a shared foundation, stylobate platform and dramatic negatively sloping roof surfaces.

The height of the building varies between a number of sections ranging from seven to 17 floors with the highest part of the structure reaching over 80.5 metres. Although the impressive height of the tower might draw more headlines, the Multifunctional Building is 300 metres long with an outer glass facade which presents a total area of more than 60,000 square metres across complex slopes and angles. Another key feature of the MFB is a central atrium which is links together all parts of the multiple-use facility.

The Multifunctional building required a multi-unit building maintenance solution capable of traversing the slopes of its complex form to create access to the entirety of the fa├žade. Four Building Maintenance Units are located on the roof and are specially adapted to navigate the varying slopes and complex geometry with lifting table and hatches. Two BMUs are located in the all-important atrium section and utilise a monorail system. A gantry-based BMU was also required for glass mounting tasks during the construction of the planetarium attraction and a trolley BMU will remain in place for glass panel replacement work once construction is completed. The comprehensive building maintenance solution is completed by a range of ladders and walkway systems which provide easy and practical access to the interior surfaces of the glass facade.

The carefully considered access system developed by CoxGomyl overcame every challenge presented by the complex building geography while also delivering an innovative solution.

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