Moscow's Cultural Heritage Department has stepped in to save Vladimir Shukhov's historic 1922 Shabolovka Radio Tower, with a conservation order protecting its materials, architectural composition, structural elements and location. The news will be a relief to the many architects - including Tadao Ando, Elizabeth Diller, Rem Koolhaas and Thom Mayne - who agreed with Norman Foster that the tower is "a structure of dazzling brilliance and great historical importance", and signed a petition urging for the structure to be saved.
Thanks to the conservation order, the neglected building will have to be repaired, and Moscow City Hall now hopes to collaborate with Russia's national government to organize an open international competition the restoration and re-purposing of the 160m tower.
Read on after the break for more on the Shukhov Tower's proposed future
The proposals to dismantle the structure were driven by the opportunity for development, but also by the tower's advanced state of decay. With the conservation order protecting not only the building's materials but also its current location, the efforts at restoration will be something of a race against time, with the Moscow Times reporting that the tower could "become a danger to the neighborhood" if it is not repaired within 5 years.
However, the road to restoration is already looking bumpy: Russian newspaper Izvestia comments that the legality of the proposed international competition is already in question, thanks to legislation requiring local heritage experts to be involved.