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Ostankino TV Tower

Moskva, Russia




5 years




Project achievements

Connected communities

Enabled more TV and radio channels to be broadcast.

Economy boosted

A major tourist attraction and landmark.

Used engineering skill

Build tallest free-standing structure using reinforced concrete.

Build a broadcasting tower, the tallest free standing structure in the world at the time

Ostankino Tower is a television and radio tower owned by the Moscow branch of the Russian TV and Radio Broadcasting Network. It was built to mark the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution and named after the Ostankino district of Moscow.

When the Ostankino Tower was complete, it overtook the Empire State Building in New York to become the tallest free-standing structure in the world.

At the time of build it was also the first super tall structure to be built using ferro concrete – concrete reinforced with steel inside.

In 1976 the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, overtook the Tower as the tallest structure in the world. In 2007 the Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates was built and is now the world’s tallest building/structure. The Ostankino Tower is still the tallest freestanding structure in Europe and 11th tallest in the world.

Did you know …

  1. It has 1,706 steps (there’s also a lift)

  2. It takes just 58 seconds for visitors to reach the observation deck 337m up

  3. The structure weighs over 55,000 tonnes

  4. It’s 540m tall

  5. The Tower is so tall that the top is often covered by clouds

Difference the project has made

The tower was primarily designed to enable radio and TV broadcasts and currently used by 11 television stations, 12 radio stations and 17 satellite TV programmes to an audience of approximately 15 million people.

It has also become a huge tourist attraction and has several observation viewing decks and a restaurant across three floors.

How the tower was built

The Ostankino Tower is an architectural surprise in a city not known for its skyscrapers. Extensive use of pre-stressed concrete resulted in a simple and sturdy structure that was a masterpiece of Soviet engineering at the time.

The concrete is reinforced with steel cables which are compressed - allowing the structure to stretch in response to forces like wind and structural movement. The pre-stressed concrete with steel reinforcement is also able to handle compression by the same forces.

The tower (outside ring) and the shaft (inside ring) of the structure also have separate foundations which allows for differences in pressure exerted on the ground by the two structures.

People who made it happen

  • Architect: Nicolai V Nikitine
  • Engineers: B Zlobin, D Boordin, M Shkood, L Schipakin