Criteria: Originality, Functionality, Style

Final decision on building a TV tower in Minsk to be taken in the upcoming January
In due time Ministry of communications and information put forward the proposal to build a 425m high TV tower in Minsk. The idea is basically motivated as technical necessity: existing capacities are insufficient. The equipment in broadcasting center is outdated and modernization is most problematic. According to Vladimir Goncharenko, Minister of communications and information, there are several variants to solve the problem ranging from reconstruction of existing premises to active development of satellite broadcasting. The first way can solve vital issues only partially. The second is technically complex and, which is more, is very expensive. And decision on erecting the tower could be a compromise between technical, aesthetical and financial requirements and capacities. As usual, any ambitious project has both adherents and opponents. To weigh all pros and contras, Alexander Lukashenko gathered special meeting. He emphasized at the beginning: “Either rejecting or supporting, be reasonable.”

Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Gapeev produced reasons against the idea of tower. Among them he mentioned low economical efficiency of the project, long payback time and some other. The meeting also addressed practicability of erecting the tower for over-the-air television as cable networks are developing rapidly today. In a word, there are enough disputable issues to be considered in detail. And this will be done in the nearest future. President gave order to summarize and analyze all opinions, prepare an architectural project and a sound cost calculation before January. Only after that final decision will be taken.

Meanwhile the meeting indicated that the new idea still has more followers than opponents. There were various opinions yet the general keynote was it was impossible to confine to technical and economical matters solely as TV tower combines functionality and visible yet mathematically non-calculable advantages. Alexander Lukashenko stated that any construction in our country should be erected with consideration of payback capability. Yet there are objects that will never pay back directly, the National library, for example. The huge library building is an investment into intellect and is undoubtedly to pay back. But who can count it?

And one more thing: each city is distinguished with some milestone objects like towers. Even those who never have been to Paris know it has the renowned Eiffel tower. One cannot imagine Moscow without Ostankino tower. And everyone knows that the world’s tallest tower is in Toronto. These constructions are a kind of city business cards and symbols of strength and self-confidence of cities, countries and nations.

No one says image-contributing objects should by built at all costs and those functional should be ascetic. Alexander Lukashenko called attention to the fact that the new tower will be built only if its cost is affordable as reasonable balance is essential. Again, President mentioned National library as an example. Was it possible to construct an underground bunker and leave several home-trailers on the surface as “reading halls”? Probably, it was. But who would then call such construction intellectual treasury of the nation? However, the stylish and original building indicates that the state doesn’t just take care of preservation of cultural heritage but also has possibility to do this elegantly and respectably. As early as ten years ago it was difficult even to discuss repair of the old library building. Therefore, each ambitious new construction is a milestone of national success. And it is feasible Minsk TV tower will become one of these milestones.
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