Deutsch The Shukhov Tower Foundation

Among the works of the Great Russian engineer Vladimir Grigorievich Shukhov the Shukhov Tower - the radio tower in Shabolovka street in Moscow built according to his project and under his guidance - has got the most fame. This tower is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful and prominent achievements of engineering thought, the masterpiece of engineering art.

The most graceful among the inventions of V.G. Shukhov are the metal lattice shells. The structure of a typical Shukhov tower is also a lattice shell in the form of a single-cavity hyperboloid of rotation. Shukhov was the first in the world to invent and use in construction the lattice metal shells in the form of hanging and arch-shaped overhead covers and hyperboloid towers (patents of Russian Empire �1894, �1895, �1896 dated March 12, 1899, declared by Shukhov on 27.03.1895 - 11.01.1896). For the 1896 All-Russia industrial and art exhibition in Nizhniy Novgorod V.G. Shukhov built eight gigantic pavilions with hanging and arch-shaped lattice overhead covers of the total area of 25070 square meters and the steel lattice 25-meter tower, which became the first hyperboloid structure in the world. The astonishing lattice structures caused delight of the European specialists. The English magazine "The Engineer" published an article about the Shukhov tower and about the overhead covers at the 1896 exhibition in Nizhniy Novgorod - "The Nijni-Novgorod exhibition: Water tower, room under construction, springing of 91 feet span", The Engineer, 1897, � 19.3. - P. 292-294: ill. After the exhibition had closed, the openwork tower of rare beauty was bought by the well-known Maecenas of that time Yu.S. Nechaev-Maltsev and placed in his estate Polibino, Lipetsk region, where it has preserved until now under the state protection. In the subsequent years, V.G. Shukhov developed numerous structures of various lattice steel shells and used them in hundreds of buildings: overhead covers of public buildings and industrial objects, water towers, sea lighthouses, masts of warships and supports for power transmission lines. The hyperboloid structures and lattice shells appeared abroad only 10 years after the Shukhov's invention. The radio tower in Shabolovka, Moscow had become the highest of Shukhov's towers.

Thanks to its lattice structure, the steel shell of Shukhov Tower in Shabolovka experiences minimum wind load, which is the main hazard for high-rising buildings. The tower sections are single-cavity hyperboloids of rotation made of straight beams, which ends rest against circular foundations. The openwork steel structure combines strength and lightness: it was spent three times less of metal on the unit height of the Shukhov Tower than on the unit height of the Eifel Tower in Paris. According to the initial project, the Shukhov Tower with the height of 350 meters had the estimated mass of only 2200 ton, while the Eifel Tower in Paris with the height of 350 meters weighs 7300 ton. But during the Civil war the government could not find enough quantity of steel profiles to realize the first project of the tower. Shukhov had to develop the second project of the tower's structure with the height of 148,5 meters. Later, after the installation of two beams and a flagpole the height of the Shukhov Tower reached 160 meters. The round conic case of the tower consists of 6 sections with the height of 25 meters each. The lower section is mounted onto the concrete foundation with the diameter of 40 meters and the depth of 3 meters. The construction of the tower was conducted by the telescopic method - without scaffolding and lifting cranes. The upper sections were assembled inside the lower one by turns and with the help of pulleys and winches were lifted onto each other. During its more than 80-year history the Shukhov Tower served as a support for the antennas of big radio and TV stations: Moscow radiotelegraph station, 40-kWatt broadcasting station "Big Komintern", Moscow TV center.

Later, such famous architects as Antonio Gaudi, Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer used hyperboloid structures in their creative work. The authors of the modern lattice shells are Frei Otto, Norman Foster, Frank Gery, Santjago Kalatrava.

The display of the Shukhov Tower's models at the prestigious architectural exhibitions of Europe during the last years confirm its world's significance. At "The art of engineering" exhibition in the Pompidu Center in Paris the portrayal of the Shukhov Tower was used as a logotype, and six pages of the exhibition catalogue were dedicated to it. The gilded 6-meter model of the Shukhov Tower was placed at the exhibition "The best constructions and buildings of the XX century architecture" in Munich in 2003. The international scientific conference "Heritage at Risk. The preservation of the XX century architecture and the World's heritage", which was held in Moscow in April, 2006 with the participation of 170 specialists from 30 countries of the world, acknowledged the Shukhov Tower to be the object of the world's heritage.

The structure of the Shukhov Tower in Shabolovka and Shukhov's lattice shells are described in detail in many foreign books and dissertations on the history of architecture. The most competent European publication was produced by the collective of authors under the leadership of Professor Rainer Graefe, the head of the Institute for the history of construction and the preservation of the monuments of architecture within the University of Innsbruck, Austria - "Vladimir G. Suchov 1853-1939. Die Kunst der sparsamen Konstruktion.", Rainer Graefe, Ph.D., und andere, 192 S., Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart, 1990. Elizabeth Cooper English, Professor of the State University of Louisiana is the leading American specialist on the creative works of V.G. Shukhov. The main part of her Doctor's dissertation is the architectural analysis of the Shukhov Tower in Shabolovka and of the Shukhov's steel shells - Arkhitektura i mnimosti": The origins of Soviet avant-garde rationalist architecture in the Russian mystical-philosophical and mathematical intellectual tradition", Elizabeth Cooper English, Ph.D., a dissertation in architecture, 264 p., University of Pennsylvania, 2000.

In 2007 the Shukhov Tower will be 85 years old and it needs a serious expertise and restoration. It is expedient to restore the tower with the participation of domestic and foreign specialists, the competent scientific institutions and public organizations.

The Shukhov Tower Foundation directed by Vladimir Fyodorovich Shukhov, the great-grandson of the Great engineer, during the two years of its existence has been standing for the complex reconstruction of the territory adjacent to the tower in Shabolovka. In order to settle the problem in complex, the Foundation promotes the idea to create the Shukhov Center at the foot of the tower in Shabolovka.

The "Shukhov Center" is one of the main projects of the Shukhov Tower Foundation and it envisages the construction of a modern business, technological and cultural complex in Moscow. A business center, a congress hall, a museum of the history of oil-extracting in Russia, a museum of the history of oil cracking, an interactive museum of V.G. Shukhov and of his followers, a scientific-technological center, an engineering club, a center of culture and art, an art gallery, a center of art creative works, a club part (cafe, restaurant, Internet hall, recreation rooms) will be the constituents of the Shukhov Center. The main task of the Shukhov center is to provide the possibility of an active business and informal intercourse for the representatives of business and state bodies, mass media, science, technical fields and culture. The interaction, exchange of opinions, discussion of the ways of development will allow to consolidate efforts for the settlement of socially significant tasks.

The Shukhov Tower Foundation invites architects, engineers, experts, institutes and organizations to cooperate in the preparation of the tower's restoration, the development of the Shukhov Center's concept and the reconstruction of the territory adjacent to the Shukhov Tower in Shabolovka. You can forward your letters to the following E-mail address: The most interesting proposals will be advertised on our web site.

The English version of the site is on the stage of testing, additional development and editing. We will be grateful to you for your comments, additions and wishes. We will also be grateful for recommendations regarding the corrections and editing of the texts from our web site to those users, to whom English is the mother tongue. E-mail:

© 2019. The Shukhov Tower.