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The building of the unique Fountain Complex on Moscow Square is on the point of being finished. In April the fountain cups will be faced and the area paved with granite. Then the pumps and filtration equipment have to be fitted. A trial opening of this gift from GUP Vodokanal Sankt-Peterburga to the citizens of St. Petersburg is planned for May 1, but the official opening will take place on City Day. The main work on building the complex involved concreting the cups and the deep chambers of the fountains. The production and supply of the concrete mix was provided by the city’s largest chain of concrete factories belonging to OAO Combine-45. The cost of the contract was in excess of 13 million roubles.
According to Igor Ryzhkov, the quality director for Combine-45, a special type of concrete has been developed for the building of the Fountain Complex on Moscow Square. This concrete has heightened water-proofing and frost-resistant characteristics. The choice of ingredients was made jointly with specialists from the Bedeneyev All-Russian Research Institute of Hydrotechnics. According to Igor Ryzhkov, “we significantly raised the density of the concrete with special additives, and this made it more resistant to the permanent movement of the water and also increased the speed at which the mix set, due to which the concrete retained all its characteristics even when concreting was done in winter.”
In the words of Sergei Zaitsev, chief engineer for the contractor, ZAO PosStroiInvest, and the person in charge of building, the specialists got the idea for developing a special type of concrete after building the Fountain Complex on Lenin Square. “Then we used ordinary hydraulic engineering concrete and achieved the right density in the foundations of the fountains by using waterproofing material, which required considerable work and expenditure. For this reason, we asked Combine-45, which had successfully supplied this project, to develop a concrete which could withstand great pressure. The results were pleasing — the new concrete showed a sufficiently high density, which meant that in building the complex on Moscow Square, there was no need to use any special waterproofing at all.
The concrete foundations of the fountains have to be able to withstand 1,500 cubic metres of water simultaneously. There is a two-year guarantee on the building work. Subsequently responsibility passes to the exploitation specialists from GUP Vodokanal Sankt-Peterburga, who will carry out a planned study of the project.
Let us recall that the Fountain Complex project was designed by the A. V. Melnichenko Architectural workshop: Grandterier- ATRIUM. The total area of the complex is 18,000 square metres. The ensemble includes 11 fountain cups divided around the monument to V.I. Lenin. By the sides of the leader’s hands there are two large cups, 60m x 27m each. Along Mayakovsky Prospekt in front of the monument are six small single-jet cups — 6mx6m — each of which will send out an elegant, foaming jet, which the people call a Christmas Tree. Part of the complex stretches behind the leader — two trapezoid cups (58mx60m) and one square cup (16mx16m). The walls of the fountain cups will be faced with granite, and the bottom covered with a decorative, protective layer the colour of Ladoga granite. So as not to upstage the Leader, there should be no structures above the surface of the earth. Thus the fountain cups are sunk in to a depth of from one to three metres, and even the chambers where the equipment is controlled from (and where the filtration devices, the pumps, and control panels etc are found) are dug 2.5 metres under the earth. Also underground are facilities for the public, such as public conveniences (set on both sides of the square with an area of 180 square metres equipped with ramps for invalids and faced with granite.
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