thyssenkrupp Test Tower

An extraordinary tower - an extraordinary lighting!

With an investment of over 40 million euros for the test tower, Rottweil forms – together with the elevator plant in Neuhausen auf den Fildern (close to Stuttgart) – a highly modern innovation hotbed for elevator technology.

Pillar, landmark and magnet for visitors!

The city of Rottweil was founded by the Romans almost 2,000 years ago and is the oldest city in Baden-Württemberg. Located around 90 kilometres south of Stuttgart, nestled between the Black Forest and the Swabian Alb, the historical city is also known as the“City of Towers”. This renown is impressively reinforced by thyssenkrupp. With the new test tower, an imposing and innovative landmark was created.

With an investment of over 40 million euros for the test tower, Rottweil forms – together with the elevator plant in Neuhausen auf den Fildern (close to Stuttgart) – a highly modern innovation hotbed for elevator technology.
The tower represents an important pillar for thyssenkrupp. It serves to test and certify elevator innovations and contributes to a considerable shortening of development times for future skyscrapers and for those currently being constructed.
With twelve shafts and speeds of up to 18 metres/sec., the tower offers possibilities that were never before available. In three shafts, the new revolutionary MULTI elevator is being tested. It is revolutionary because it has no cable and canalso travel sideways (!).
With a height of 246 metres, the tower is one of the most impressive and also most breathtaking constructions in southern Germany. The test tower symbolizes the engineering skill of thyssenkrupp – and it also represents a symbol for the city of Rottweil and complements the historical church and defensive towers from the middle ages.
The visitor platform, at a height of 232 metres, is the highest publicly accessible platform in Germany and offers a panoramic view over the Black Forest and the Swabian Alb and beyond. But not only the viewis breathtaking.
The ride with the elevator is an experience in itself, as visitors reach the dizzying height of the platform within just 30 seconds.
The tower represents an attraction for tourists and also for companies – within a very short period of time, it has advanced to become both a landmark and a magnet for visitors.
Despite its imposing height, the tower’s appearance is still light and delicate. The architects, Dr. Werner Sobek with Helmut Jahn, covered the concrete shaft with a covering made of glass fibre fabric.
The fabric is closely meshed at the foot of the tower and shows increasingly more of the tower towards the top. It reflects the light in various ways at different times of day and during different seasons of the year. As a result, the tower changes its appearance depending on the weather.

Extraordinary lighting!

The tower is perfectly staged by a total of 44 spotlights (Powershine RGBW model) from our Italian sister company and specialist for architectural lighting solutions GRIVEN. For the desired ring-shaped lighting, the spotlights were arranged in two circles.
A total of 24 Powershine spotlights (yellow dots) form an inner circle and illuminate the lower part of the tower. To ideally cover this area, spotlights with “wide optics” were selected. Specially manufactured supports from Hess ensure that the spotlights are stable and are installed higher than the grass.
The outer ring, with 20 Powershine spotlights (red dots) with “medium optics”, is responsible for the illumination of the upper half of the tower. Here great importance was placed upon the light visibly dimming towards the top of the tower, in order to lend the tower a visual lightness also in the evening and night hours.
For these spotlights, special housing for their accommodation was developed. In colour DB 703, the housings discreetly blend into the area surrounding the tower.
The maximum power per spotlight is 281 watts. In addition to the desired standard colour, the spotlights in the RGBW variant can shine in any colour. Further atmospheric scenarios and “Wow effects” can be created as desired.

In case of fog: “Light’s off ”!

Another special feature: The lighting system was equipped with a fog sensor that is connected to the “Wall TSC”, acolour change controller with 1024 channels and digital inputs.
By means of a threshold value switch created in-houseby Hess, it is ensured that in the case of fog with visibility under 100 metres, the lighting is switched off and the effect of an illuminated “haze dome” is avoided. Another clever and innovative piece of equipment – just the right feature for an extraordinary tower.

Rottweil’s new landmark ...

… in all its nighttime splendour!

The facts

  • Architects:
    Dr. Werner Sobek with Helmut Jahn

  • Lighting Design:
    L- PLAN LIGHTING DESIGN, Berlin
  • Construction period:
    < 10 months
  • Height:
    246 metres
  • Weight:
    40.000 tons (≈ 8.000 African elephants)
  • Materials:
    15,000 cubic metres of concrete
    2,640 tons of steel
    200 rock nails
  • Spotlights (GRIVEN):
    20 x Powershine RGBW spotlights (medium optics)
    24 x Powershine RGBW spotlights (wide optics)
  • Output:
    281 W per spotlight