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Warsaw in tall tower race

Warsaw last week began a race with London to build Europe's tallest building by unveiling plans for a 282.4m high skyscraper.

The structure will be taller than Europe's current highest building – Moscow's 268.4m Naberezhnaya Tower, but it will be shorter than London's planned 310m Shard of Glass, setting up a head to head race for developers .

If planning permission is granted to Warsaw's tower the project could be under construction by 2009 and completed by 2011, the same year the Shard of Glass is scheduled for completion.

A spokesman for developer Chmielna Development's parent company Kulczyk Holding said the firm hopes to beat the Shard of Glass and hold the title of Europe's tallest for as long as possible. However, this may not be that long, as Moscow is also planning to build a massive 612m tower.

Architect MWH Architekci has produced a preliminary design for the tower which envisages a large glass structure in distorted boxed sections, creating 81,000m2 of mixed use space.

If planning permission is granted the developer will work with MWH Architekci to progress the design, although the Kluczyk Holding spokesman added that the firm also wanted to invite the world's best architects to work on the project, which has an estimated construction cost of £200M.

"We want to create an original building which will become a symbol of Warsaw," said the spokesman.

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