Column Substitution for Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany

Customer Project

29. October 2013

Germany RFEM Steel Structures

Structural Engineering Structural Engineering Office
Dipl.-Ing. Jörg Sando
Weimar, Germany

Structural Analysis (Testing Work)
Prof. Frank Prietz
Berlin, Germany
Construction Contractor
Bennert GmbH
Klettbach, Germany

General Contractor
CARO Restaurierung und Technologie GmbH
Berlin, Germany

Technical Monitoring
EBK Engineering office for construction diagnostics
Weimar, Germany
Investor Stiftung Denkmalschutz Berlin by order of
Senate Administration for Science, Research and Culture of Berlin

During the final days of the Second World War, a column segment of the Brandenburg Gate was severely damaged by grenade attacks. When the gate was reconstructed in 2002, the German engineering office J. Sando in Weimar developed a method by which it was possible to substitute the column segment. The special supporting structure needed for the substitution process was designed with RFEM.

Basic Technical Conditions

The structure load is transferred across masonry arcs into the columns. Lateral supporting is not possible without deconstruction. Engineer Sando has developed a method by which the load is redirected within the column. By constantly checking the force and displacement, it was possible to monitor the work steps all the time. Critical moments, of course, had to be excluded for this building.

Column Substitution

Preparatory work for load increase was followed by mounting the hydraulic supporting structure step‑by‑step. The new center piece, which is exactly half of the column segment, was inserted after an intended vertical elongation of 0.6 mm. With both side parts it is now clearly discernible as the new segment. The chosen method was a great success.

Program Used for Structural Analysis

Advantages of Spatial FEA Model

“The spatial FEA model offered very good options to analyze and design the load-bearing behavior of a special complex structure in a verifiable way. Due to the extremely high safety requirements concerning the most famous landmark of Germany, the Brandenburg Gate, it was necessary to mount the support structure in two stages. The specific mounting situations could be modeled very well in RFEM.”

Project: Column Substitution for Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany

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