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Germany - Hi-tech emotions at the thyssenkrupp tower


Founded by the Romans almost 2,000 years ago, Rottweil is the oldest city in Baden-Württemberg. Nestled between the Black Forest and the Swabian Alb about 90 km south of Stuttgart, Rottweil is also historically known as the “Town of Towers”. The newly built thyssenkrupp Test Tower further reinforces the city renown with its imposing height and technologically advanced features.
 
With its 246m the thyssenkrupp Tower offers the highest visitor platform in Germany  and it has already become a landmark for the whole region. Contributing to a significant reduction in the development time of future and early-stage skyscrapers around the world, the thyssenkrupp  Tower is actually more than just a functional building for testing and certifying high-speed elevator technology. Located at 232m, a visitor platform surrounded by a 4m high glass façade provides an impressive panoramic view  over the Black Forest and the Swabian Alb. The ride with the elevator is a thrilling experience, as the many visitors reach the dizzying height of the platform in just 30 seconds at a speed of 8m/sec . 
 
Encompassing twelve shafts, including one fire brigade and one glazed panoramic lift, the tallest textile-clad building in the world also hosts a new revolutionary multi elevator with no cables and sideways moving capability tested within three shafts.
 
Despite its imposing height, the tower maintains a light and filigree appearance deriving from its cladding made of fiberglass fabric, which hides the concrete shaft underneath. The fabric cover starts closely at the base of the tower, reflecting the light in different ways at different times of the day and year while delivering a constantly changing look.
 
Wrapping up almost the entire tower, this textile cover takes into account wind load, maintenance and weather resistance issues and consists of a PTFE-coated glass fiber fabric with increasing transparency from bottom to top. It also provides weather protection, reducing the considerable stresses induced by solar radiation in the concrete structure of the tower.
 
In charge of the distribution of GRIVEN products in Germany, the sister company Hess took care of the project requirements directly with thyssenkrupp. According to the lighting design subsequently conceived by GRIVEN, very powerful lighting fixtures were needed to light up the whole height of the tower from its basement. Powershine MK2 S in RGBW colour configuration were identified as the best solution to guarantee a perfectly even illumination with intense and bright colours, as desired by the property. In order to reach a uniform distribution, the selected units were arranged in two circles at the base of the tower. A total of 24 Powershine MK2 S RGBW with wide optics (yellow dots in the attached scheme), installed on custom metal supports manufactured by the sister company Hess, form an inner circle and light up the lower part of the tower. The outer ring, fitted with 20 Powershine MK2 S RGBW (red dots) with medium optics, is responsible for the illumination of the upper half of the tower, slightly dimming towards the top in order to deliver a visual lightness. Special housings were developed to accommodate these powerful wall washers, now discreetly blending into the surrounding area.
 
The new LED lighting system of the thyssenkrupp Test Tower was inaugurated right on February, 14 2019, Valentine’s day, when the first couple marrying in the tower pushed the button at sundown at 5.44 p.m. and enabled the tower to shine for the first time. Since then, the tower lights will be turned on every night, except for a few migratory weeks. To guarantee a good night's sleep to all citizens of the close Rottweil village, the lights will be switched off between 1 and 5 o'clock each night. Beside the main golden shade chosen by the architects Dr. Werner Sobek with Helmut Jahn, an almost infinite palette of different tones and colour changing effects   available for the tower. Moreover, the lighting system has been equipped with a fog sensor connected to Wall TSC, a DMX digital signal controller running up to 1024 channels and digital inputs. A threshold value switch created in-house by .hess ensures that, in case of fog with visibility under 100 metres, the lighting is automatically switched off to avoid an unpleasant haze dome effect.
 
This iconic project reflects the success of the perfect synergy between the sister companies GRIVEN and Hess, which, putting together engineering and lighting design capabilities with an essential proximity to the customer, succeeded in such a competitive market place.
 
Installed fixtures:
20 x AL3702A Powershine MK2 S RGBW with medium optics 
24 x AL3703A Powershine MK2 S RGBW with wide optics
1x AL0069 IP20 6ch DMX signal amplifier 
1x AL1424 WALL-TSC
 
Pictures: Copyright thyssenkrupp Elevator

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