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Company News, 2014-10-02, 04:01 PM

Ground broken: Building of test tower begins in Rottweil

ThyssenKrupp and the town of Rottweil celebrated the official commencement of the test tower’s construction on Thursday, with a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony. On the Wednesday prior, the municipal council had decided on the statutes of the building plan – the final formal hurdle in the planning and approval process. Foundation work can now begin without delay. The test tower for elevator innovations, designed by renowned architects Helmut Jahn and Werner Sobek, is expected to be completed in just over two years.

“The first step will be to work downwards, to a depth of over 32 metres, before the tower actually starts going up”, says Alexander Keller, head of ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s European operations. “The earlier we complete the tower, the sooner we can test our future innovations here in the region, and the faster the town can set a new record: Once the tower is in place, Rottweil will have Germany’s tallest viewing platform at a height of 232 metres”.

The public observation deck will provide a 360° view of the region around Rottweil and is set to become an attraction for tourists in Baden-Württemberg. In this sense, the test tower is more than a functional building for research and development. Designed with sustainability and resource conservation in mind, it represents ThyssenKrupp’s engineering expertise while its shape evokes Rottweil’s medieval church and defence towers.

This impressive structure will reach its final height relatively quickly, in the summer of 2015. After this time, very little will be visible from the exterior of the complex work going on inside to allow for the testing and certification of innovative elevators. Shortly before the end of the construction work, the tower will be clad with its striking façade, as designed by its architects. The interplay of height and design will make ThyssenKrupp’s research and development tower one of the most distinctive buildings in southern Germany.

ThyssenKrupp’s investment of more than 40 million euros underlines the special importance of this region: Together with the elevator plant in Neuhausen auf den Fildern, currently being transformed into a technology park, and the Pliezhausen R&D facility, Rottweil and the test tower will form a centre of innovation for elevator technology with a total of over 1,500 employees across the region. Universities near Stuttgart and Konstanz in Germany and St. Gallen, Zurich, and Winterthur in Switzerland, with around 10,000 students of engineering, also offer an excellent recruitment base for ThyssenKrupp.

“The people of Rottweil see the tower as a great opportunity for our town, and the project has the support of a broad majority of the local population and the municipal council”, said Mayor Ralf Bross. Together with ThyssenKrupp, the project was initiated as part of an extensive planning and participation process that included three public meetings, he added. The town expects the project to boost the economy of the whole Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg region and open up new opportunities for tourism. “The public observation deck will attract visitors with its views over the oldest town in Baden-Württemberg, the Black Forest, the Schwäbische Alb mountains, and in good weather, even the Alps”, said Bross. “Moreover, by attracting a high-tech development facility such as the test tower, Rottweil is positioning itself as a part of the Stuttgart-Zurich innovation axis, making our town more attractive to other forward-looking companies”. The ThyssenKrupp test tower is therefore an important key to Rottweil’s economic development, he added.

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