At peak times, up to 150 workers defied wind and weather to complete the tallest building in Baden-Württemberg. thyssenkrupp Elevator and the city of Rottweil are now celebrating a high flying record-breaker: On 7 October 2017, almost exactly three years after the ground-breaking ceremony, the visitors‘ platform at the thyssenkrupp test tower in Rottweil has been opened to the public for the first time. Located on the top floor of the artfully constructed building, it is Germany’s highest viewing platform.
Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO at thyssenkrupp AG, Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO at thyssenkrupp Elevator, and Rottweil’s mayor, Ralf Broß, unveiled the 360-degree panoramic view from 232 metres height on 7 October 2017 with prominent guests such as Winfried Kretschmann, the prime minister of Baden- Württemberg, Volker Kauder, a member of the Bundestag for the constituency of Rottweil-Tuttlingen, and the architects Werner Sobek and Helmut Jahn.
“The opening of the test tower is an amazing feeling for me”, Andreas Schierenbeck enthuses. “During the entire construction phase, hardly anything went wrong and I am very proud that the building was completed within the planned budget and time frame. Our employees have already started research on our high-speed elevators on site.”
Andreas Schierenbeck emphasises that the new building is a symbol of progress in every respect, “The test tower is helping thyssenkrupp Elevator to revolutionise the global elevator industry.”
Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO at thyssenkrupp AG, praised the tower as a “future laboratory for a new era in lift technology and an impressive example of the innovative power and engineering skills at thyssenkrupp.” The Group has invested around 40 million euro in total for the construction.
“The test tower is an innovative landmark. A great many people here identify with it,” Rottweil’s mayor Ralf Broß goes on to say. “From the very beginning, the members of the public had expressed an interest in visiting the tower. Hence why thyssenkrupp built the viewing platform,” Broß reminisces.
“The openness of the company and the strong participation of the public were key to this success. This test tower has positioned Rottweil as a forward-looking business location and increases its tourist appeal at the same time.”
The tower will weigh 40,000 tonnes when completed – as much as 8,000 African elephants. Since the ground-breaking ceremony in October 2014, 15,000 cubic metres of concrete and more than 2,500 tonnes of steel have been used to build the tower. For the textile architecture, industrial climbers worked around the clock to wrap the tower in just under 17,000 square metres of glass fibre in 24-hour shifts.
The polymer-coated texture not only gives the building that ‘certain something’ but also protects it from intense sunshine and reduces the building’s movement by breaking down the forces of the wind.
Together with the elevator manufacturing plant in Neuhausen auf den Fildern and as part of the research and development axis of the university cities of Zurich, Munich, Stuttgart as well as more than 10,000 students, the test tower is the largest innovation centre for elevator technology in Germany.
Since December 2016, high-speed elevators have been tested, developed and certified here to transform cities into the best places to live.
Futuristic technologies that are being tested in Rottweil include, in particular, the latest generation of elevators; the MULTI. The new MULTI system is installed in three of the twelve tower shafts in the test tower, in which magnetic levitation technology from Transrapid is used as the drive.
This has a variety of advantages: thanks to the unique, rope-less construction throughout the world – like a modern paternoster – several elevator cabins can be operated in one shaft.
This not only increases the transport capacity by up to 50 percent but also reduces the required space for the lift in the building.
Additionally, the elevators can move sideways as well as vertically, and without any height limitations, which enables unprecedented possibilities in the architecture of buildings.