Russia's upper house of parliament has voted in favor of constructing a new parliament center with a striking resemblance to the U.S. Capitol building, news agency Interfax reported.
When called to vote last week on the design for a new parliament building to be erected outside Moscow, 34 percent of the Federation Council's 636 senators voted for a design by St. Petersburg-based architecture bureau Yevgeny Gerasimov and Partners, the report said.
The winning design features a long line of steps leading up to a towering classical rotunda, much like the one that crowns the U.S. Capitol building, home to the U.S. legislature.
The chosen design "resembles the [U.S.] Capitol, as some say, but is the most functional [of the designs]," Federation Council head Valentina Matviyenko said, Interfax reported.
Plans for a new parliament building were announced in September last year as a measure to reduce traffic jams in central Moscow. Russia's two legislative bodies, the State Duma and the Federation Council, are currently housed in buildings in the city center, which often causes traffic jams as police halt cars in order to let Russian lawmakers get to work.
Matviyenko added, however, that she was not satisfied with Gerasimov's blueprint and advised the commission that oversees the project to work on revisions to the design.
"This parliamentary center is being built for the ages … and therefore I believe that, in any case, not one of the projects meets all the requirements," Matviyenko said, Interfax reported.
Matviyenko added that the project would be financed through private investments and that one investor had already signed on.
Mikhail Gutseriyev, the developer who won the tender to to build the new parliament center, earlier estimated the cost at $1.5 billion, Interfax reported. Vladimir Resin, head of the committee responsible for the building's construction, said the new center will be built by 2019.