Look-Out Tower Saarschleife, Germany
|Planning, Structural Engineering, Construction||WIEHAG GmbH
|Structural Analysis of Foundations||Ing.-Büro Wolf GmbH
|Architect||Architectural office Josef Stöger
|Investor||Erlebnis Akademie AG
Bad Kötzting, Germany
Length: ~ 105.0 ft | Width: ~ 62.3 ft | Height: ~ 137.8 ft | Weight: ~ 178 t
Number of Nodes: 868 | Members: 1,293 | Materials: 4 | Cross‑Sections: 32
With the height of about 137.8 ft, the look‑out tower offers a unique view over the landscape of the Saar-Hunsrück Nature Park, into the Saar Bow valley and, if the visibility is clear, even as far as the Vosges Mountains. The tower is the highlight of the tree‑top trail with a length of 4,101 ft, which allows for walks up to 75.5 ft above the forest level.
The tower was designed in a semicircle shape to mirror the Saar Bow. The semicircle form was also chosen as an effective way to minimize the impact on the quartzite biotope.
The company WIEHAG GmbH was responsible for the planning, structural analysis and design, fabrication and assembly of the tower. For the structural calculations, the RSTAB software was used.
There are 9 straight glued-laminated beams arranged rotationally symmetrically about the longitudinal axis of the tower. These are connected by 5 horizontal rings made of steel tubes. The steel tubes are rigidly connected to the main columns about the local z‑axis to avoid lateral deflection of the columns out of the plane. Between the columns, there is a mesh of steel diagonals.
Another stiffening structure consisting of two suspended steel tubes and a stiffening cross is located between both edge columns.
The angle between the columns is 18° in the edge area and 24° in the other areas. The tower has a diameter of 40 ft, referred to the center of the glulam columns.
The tower can be accessed from the tree‑top trail at the height of about 65.6 ft. A helical ramp with a width of 8.2 ft is attached to the inside and outside of the columns and leads up to the viewing platform.
The platform is 19.7 ft wide and consists of steel cantilever beams, protruding to the outside and connected to the timber columns. On the cantilever beams, there are again timber stringers covered by the wooden floor.
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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
Stress analysis of steel members
Design of steel members according to Eurocode 3
Dynamic analysis of natural frequencies and mode shapes of member models
Stability analysis according to the eigenvalue method