Tower in Reuss River Delta near Seedorf, Switzerland
The bird-watching tower in the Reuss River delta is an exceptional lookout construction in the Urner Alps. Its striking primary framework consists of 48 log timber columns standing in an inclined position. From four viewing platforms, people seeking relaxation enjoy the wonderful view over the river delta, and ornithologists can watch nesting birds.
Timber Structural Analysis
Pirmin Jung Ingenieure für Holzbau AG
Holzbauer Gebrüder Bissig Holzbau GmbH
Gion A. Caminada Arch. BSA/SA Cons
Committee for the Reuss River Delta
The tower with a height of 37.7 ft was designed by Swiss architect Gion A. Caminada. The structural analysis was performed by Pirmin Jung Engineers, a customer of Dlubal Software.
Structural Analysis and Construction
The round columns consisting of silver fir timber were chopped down, treated, and prepared in the immediate surroundings of the construction site.
At the base, they have a diameter of approximately 9.4 inches and are tapered towards the roof, which they bear just as they do the viewing platform. The platform consists of planks that are 3.1 inches thick, cantilevering where the four lookout baskets are installed. It is directly attached to the log timber columns by means of brackets. The roof rafters are supported by the center post and the external columns.
From the roof structure hangs a steel ring on which rests the inside of the platform floor, and from which the spiral staircase is suspended.
All connections are built in such a way that they can be easily replaced after the service life has expired and without any influence on the total structure.
In addition to wind loads, the tower must be able to absorb vibrations from live load. As additional bracings or similar stiffening elements were out of the question for the horizontal stabilization due to architectural reasons, the columns were partially restrained in the steel ring in the roof. In this way, a kind of spatially effective frame was formed.
Tower Lookout tower Timber structures Timber structure Timber Roof Structural design
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Programs Used for Structural Analysis
Structural engineering software for designing frame, beam, and truss structures, as well as performing linear and nonlinear calculations of internal forces, deformations, and support reactions
Stress analysis of steel members
Timber design according to Eurocode 5, SIA 265 and/or DIN 1052