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Moscow’s landmark Ostankino TV tower marking jubilee of transmissions

November 04, 3:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW

At present, the Ostankino Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in Europe and in Russia and one of the tallest structures of the kind in the world

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MOSCOW, November 4. /TASS/. Saturday November 4 marks the jubilee since the start of transmissions from one of Moscow City’s landmark buildings - the Ostankino television tower.

At present, the Ostankino Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in Europe and in Russia and one of the tallest structures of the kind in the world.

Until 1967, radio and TV programs in the USSR were transmitted with the aid of another tower of broad international acclaim, the Shukhov radio tower named after its designer, Vladimir Shukhov. This 148-meters-tall structure was erected in 1922, shortly after the end of the Russian Civil War of 1918-1921.

With the arrival of TV transmissions, a television studio center appeared by the side of the Shukhov tower. The rapid expansion of broadcasting resulted quickly enough in a shortage of premises in it.

In 1953, the top executives of the studio center came up with a plan for building a new broadcasting facility that would incorporate 20 to 25 studios and a tower some 300 meters tall, or twice the size of the Shukhov tower.

The Council of Ministers [cabinet] of the USSR issued a resolution on July 15, 1955, on reconstruction of the Moscow TV studio center. The choice of a land plot for the project initially fell on the city’s southern Cheryomushki district but the authorities decided to relocate the project to Ostankino in the north of the city where it would rise stand side by side with the 18th century countryside mansion of Counts Sheremetyev, long turned into a museum by that time.

The design of the 300-meters-tall tower was commissioned to architects Leonid Batalov and Dmitry Burdin and construction works began in 1961 but the authorities halted them in 1961, as doubts over the steadiness of the foundation had sprung up.

As a result of expert studies, the design of the tower was changed and the architect who developed the 183 meter-tall main building of Moscow Lomonosov State University, Nikolai Nikitin, took reign of the project as the general supervisor of the project. Leonid Batalov and Dmitry Burdin got the positions of chief architects.

Construction works resumed after endorsement of the revised design on September 27, 1963. The government had decided by then to increase the height of the tower to 533 meters [with an addition of another 7 meter-tall flagpole to it.

The Ostankino tower came on stream on November 4, 1967, three days before the USSR would mark the 50th anniversary since the Socialist revolution of 1917. The broadcasting package included four TV channels and three radio channels.

The signal from the tower itself reached out to a distance of 120 km but relay transmitters made it possible to deliver the signal across the entire territory of the USSR. On December 26, the Sedmoye Nebo [Seventh Heaven] revolving restaurant opened at the elevation of 328 meters at the tower.

A major studio center located some 300 meters away from the tower was put into operation simultaneously with it.

Nikolai Nikitin’s concept suggested that the Ostankino Tower should have the form a lily turned upside down. It has ten footholds, which assure its steadiness. Its lowest section [63 m tall] consists of concrete with iron reinforcements. From there and up to the 384 m mark, it is made of pre-stressed concrete, while its top is made of cylindrical metallic belts.

A total of 149 pre-tensioned cables are located inside the hollow core of the structure, the lower part of it has a diameter of 63 meters. It narrows gradually to 18 meters to 8.2 meters.

A glassed-in tourist observation floor is located at the elevation of 337 meters. It has windows floor. The tourists can also visit an open observation floor at 340 meters.

The bistro, caf· and Seventh Heaven restaurant have revolving floors that make a full revolution around the central axis of the structure over a period of 40 minutes.

Four high-speed ThyssenKrupp lifts take visitors to the observation floor at 337 m. The structure also has a service lift that was built by a factory in southern Moscow.

Using the Ostankino Tower for transmissions at present are more than 20 TV channels and several major radios, including Ekho Moskvy.

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