ThyssenKrupp Elevator Test Tower / Rottweil, Germany/ 2013‑2017
Size: 129,220 sq ft / 12,000 sq m
Height: 807 ft / 246 m
Status: Completed 2017
Collaboration: Werner Sobek
Recognition: Balthasar Neumann Preis; Deutscher Ingenieurbaupreis, CTBUH Award of Excellence
The ThyssenKrupp Elevator Test Tower, a 250-meter-high tower near Rottweil, Germany, transcends functional efficiency and technological advancement. Functionally, it was designed to serve as a testing facility for elevator company ThyssenKrupp. Aesthetically, it is much more, serving as a symbol of experimentation for both residents and visitors, connecting them to Rottweil’s 2,000-year history.
Developed through a collaborative effort with Werner Sobek, the tower is prominently positioned at the edge of the city, separated by the 60-meter-deep Neckar valley. This positioning gives the tower a distinct silhouette in the landscape, redefining the historical cityscape of Rottweil, which is known for its medieval plan and church and defense towers. The tower becomes a juxtaposition of medieval and technological eras, reflecting the progressive cultures of both ThyssenKrupp and Rottweil’s citizens.
The tower’s structure, a reinforced concrete tube with decreasing wall thickness towards the top, ensures minimal wind-induced deformations. Encased in a PTFE coated fiberglass fabric, the construction is shielded from harsh sunlight and wind, with the fabric’s helical steel tube mounting creating dynamic, curved surfaces.
At 230 meters, a visitor’s terrace offers panoramic views, information, and a café, accessible by a separate elevator.
Both day and night, the ThyssenKrupp Tower’s illuminated, sculptural form stands as a monumental, dematerialized landmark, embodying a harmonious blend of heritage and innovation.