ThyssenKruppRottweil is a quaint little German town just south of the fabled Black Forest along the Neckar River. Visitors come from all over Europe to experience the outward beauty of Rottweil, the ‘Town of Towers,’ and find an internal wealth of art galleries and cultural offerings as well. Now, they will also be coming for the best view in Germany.

Rottweil is the site for a new and advanced elevator test tower which will complement the historic gabled rooftops and towers of the old town. ThyssenKrupp Elevator chose Rottweil after an exhaustive search, in part because of its close proximity to roughly 10,000 engineering university students, the technology park in Neuhausen, the R&D center in Pliezhausen, and major transportation networks nearby.

ThyssenKruppThe concrete tube of the tower has already reached its full height of 232 meters, the level of the viewing platform. Workers have moved on to the interior and the structure is scheduled to be completed and go into operation at the end of 2016.

“The commitment and smooth cooperation of all involved has been unique – not something that can be taken for granted with major projects like that,” says Alexander Keller, CEO for Central, Eastern and Northern Europe at ThyssenKrupp Elevator and responsible for the construction of the tower.

The tower has a light and elegant appearance, despite its imposing height. Architects Helmut Jahn and Werner Sobek are using a cover made from fiberglass fabrics to hide the concrete shaft. The cover is closely meshed at the bottom, but gradually begins to reveal more of the tower as it goes up and reflects light differently, depending on the time of day and year. As a result, the appearance of the tower changes with the weather and the seasons.

The 246-meter construction will test and certify innovations in elevator technology and thereby contribute to dramatically reducing the development time required for future skyscrapers and those currently under construction all over the world. With 12 test shafts and travel speeds of up to 18 meters per second, the tower offers unprecedented possibilities to meet the challenges ahead.

Three shafts are dedicated to testing the cable-less MULTI elevator system. The system, powered by maglev technology, provides several advantages: The rope-less design means multiple cabs can be operated in one elevator shaft. This increases shaft transportation capacity by up to 50 percent while reducing the elevator footprint in a building by half. In addition, the elevators will move both sideways and vertically without height limitation, opening up completely new applications.

From the outside of the tower, none of that can be seen. Nevertheless, the tower has quickly become a crowd puller. On fine days the viewing terrace with its information stand next to the construction site attracts many visitors, and more are expected once the tower is complete. To ensure that, internationally renowned architects Helmut Jahn and Werner Sobek have created a forward-looking design providing a coherent link with Rottweil’s historic landscape of towers and steeples.

Images courtesy of ThyssenKrupp Elevator