Lookout Tower on Rügen Island, Germany
Structural Analysis and Timber Tower
Structural Engineering Office
Ing.-Büro Wolf GmbH, Passau, Germany
Architect Josef Stöger, Schönberg, Germany
Erlebnis-Akademie AG, Bad Kötzing, Germany
In May 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel inaugurated the natural heritage center Rügen in Prora. The highlight of the 1,900-hectare natural heritage area on the Baltic Sea island of Rügen is the 131-feet-high "Nest Tower". It is already the third tree tower that WIEHAG GmbH has built.
The tower stands at a height of more than 131 feet above sea level. Visitors are thus provided with a breathtaking view of the landscape at a height of over 262 feet.
Construction of Tree Tower
The structure of the tower consists of an outer ring made of 12 vertical glulam beams. They are arranged with rotational symmetry and set up with an angle difference of 30° each, thus forming a polygonal, spatial structure.
The columns are supported by means of steel girders on single foundations. The tree tower is stabilized by a close-meshed net of diagonal steel members as well as horizontal ring structures.
The upper third of the tower was fitted with 12 glulam arcs to make it look like an eyrie. The arcs are fastened to the cantilevered steel platform at the top and to the glulam columns at the bottom. The outer diameter of the timber tower is approximately 79 feet, in the area of the "eyrie" it is about 118 feet.
Connected to the observation tower is a 1,367-yard-long walkable treetop path that winds through the treetops at a height of 13 to 56 feet. The path is also the entrance to the tower. In order to reach the viewing platform at the top of the tower, visitors have to enter the 656-yard-long spiral structure inside the tower.
The platform consists of steel cantilevers protruding outwards that connect to the timber columns, and between them longitudinal timber beams with planking.
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Programs Used for Structural Analysis
The structural engineering software for design of frame, beam and truss structures, performing linear and nonlinear calculations of internal forces, deformations, and support reactions
Timber design according to Eurocode 5, SIA 265 and/or DIN 1052