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03.02.2006

A Towering Genius.

By Sergei Borisov, "The Moscow News".  
Intellect Park.  The foundation proposes creating the modern exposition representing recent achievements of the Russian and world science and technology, including the military-industrial complex. Russia could make a healthy profit by using this park and its representations abroad to advertise the country's intellectual wealth, science and education.
 

Shukhov Tover in Moscow

 

The famous Shukhov Tower may become serious tourist attraction in Moscow.

The 150m Shabolovka Radio and TV Tower will soon be shining and shimmering like the Eiffel Tower thanks to the application of special dynamic effects, Russian mass media have recently reported. Some restoration work will also be done on the tower in the hope of making it a popular attraction, Moscow city officials said.

The «hyperbolic» tower must beautify the city, First Deputy Mayor Vladimir Resin told reporters. During holidays the construction will be sparkling brighter, but problems remain concerning power supply to the tower before it can light up the night sky.

Like Eiffel Tower?

The tower was designed and constructed and by the great Russian engineer and scientist Vladimir Shukhov (1853-1939) in 1922. It belongs to a state-run television center and is not used as a transmitter tower but can be useful in emergency situations. Presently, the tower is well-illuminated, but the Moscow authorities want it to be even brighter. Mayor Yury Luzhkov, some of his deputies and City Duma speaker Vladimir Platonov have the highest esteem for Shukhov because he had done much for Russia and Moscow. Luzhkov once was presented with a Shukhov Gold medal, an award of the Russian International Engineer Society, for his contribution in the reconstruction of Moscow.

The great-grandson of the great engineer, also named Vladimir Shukhov, said Shukhov's tower will never be compared to the Eiffel tower as a tourist object. The Eiffel tower has a big infrastructure around its base, while there is not much free space around the Shabolovka tower. But different variants are possible. Vladimir Shukhov heads the Shukhov's Tower Foundation which has developed different projects, — technological, scientific and cultural, — from the preserving the tower to supporting young talents.

Intellect Park.  

The Shukhov Foundation proposes a full reconstruction of the Shabolovka tower according to Shukhov's initial project of the tower 350m in height. Thanks to using modern technologies, an observation site and a restaurant could be put up at the tower. This historical and cultural project could be meaningful for the world culture, Shukhov thinks.

The city„s authorities also intend to create a museum dedicated to Vladimir Shukhov. The time is ripe for this, Shukhov“s great-grandson told The Moscow News. But the foundation tends to create Shukhov's Center rather than the museum. Among cultural and entertainment options in the city there are few attractions connected to technological and engineer themes.

The center would differ from the museum to Shukhov, dedicated to a person and could entertain and enlighten at the same time. The center could also house a business center, said vice president of the Shukhov Tower Foundation Sergei Arsenyev.

The center is only one of the projects developed by the foundation. Among the most important of them is the Intellect-Park. This can help return the country's technological prestige lost during the perestroika era. Intellect-Park could be based on the existing structures in the Moscow region.

The foundation proposes creating the modern exposition representing recent achievements of the Russian and world science and technology, including the military-industrial complex. But Shukhov thinks Russia could make a healthy profit by using this park and its representations abroad to advertise the country's intellectual wealth, science and education.

Shukhov's legacy.  

A memorial monument to the Russian engineer will be erected this year opposite to the Lukoil company building in Moscow. The company finances the project, and it is not accidental because Shukhov contributed a lot to the development of the oil sector of the Russian economy. He created an oil burner for heavy oils, pipe-lines, oil tanks, the device for thermal cracking of oil and steam-boilers. Shukhov invented the airlift method for the extraction of fluid hydrocarbon raw material, applied in Azerbaijan. Air was pumped into an oil layer under high pressure, which then pushed oil to the surface. He invented and constructed tubular cracking, known in the history of oil business as «Soviet cracking.»

Shukhov is also credited with inventions in the construction of bridges and buildings, hyperbolic towers, and other devices. He was the inventor of hyperboloids of revolution based on non-Euclidean hyperbolic geometry (see Fact Box). Shukhov developed varieties of light-weight hyperboloid towers and roof systems. Shukhov is well known in the West. A model of Shukhov's Tower was featured at «The Engineer Art» world exhibition in Paris in 1997. An observation tower 13m in height was built by Daniel Roth for the Technical Profes-sional School in Zurich, one of the largest in Switzerland. Roth payed homage to the great Russian engineer. The tower, which is used for recreation purposes, won a prize at the contest of the construction art in 2003.

MN File.  

Shukhov's Shabolovka Radio and TV Tower.

Shukhov began experimenting with forming a tower out of stacked sections of hyperboloids in 1911. Stacking the sections permitted the form of the tower to taper more at the top. By 1918 Shukhov has developed his concept into the design of a nine-section stacked hyperboloid radio transmission tower for Moscow. He designed a 350m tower to surpass the Eiffel tower in height by 50m, by using less than a quarter of the amount of material. 2200 tons of steel required to build the tower of that height were not available and in July 1919 Vladimir Lenin decreed that the tower should be built to a height of 150m. The construction of the smaller tower with six stacked hyperboloids was completed by March 1922. The tower has worked for Radio transmitting since 1922 and regular TV transmitting since 1939.

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