No matter which direction you are coming from and long before you actually reach Rottweil you will see a prominent object in the landscape: That’s the Thyssen Test Tower, with Germany’s highest visitors’ viewing platform at a height of 232 metres. Its construction was one of Germany’s most exciting projects. In just 68 days, the tower reached its full height, thus growing twice as fast as a bamboo plant under perfect conditions. Its construction started in 2014. The visitors’ platform was opened in October 2017.
The construction of the outer shell was so spectacular that both technically-minded laymen and building professionals visited the building site to get a first impression of this grand achievement. Among the materials used were 15,000 cubic metres of single-grade concrete from the region, 200 rock nails and 2,640 tons of steel. The aim was to achieve maximum building precision and minimum deviation from the bottom to the top of the tower. The tower is an industrial building in which ThyssenKrupp tests elevator innovations. The interior houses 12 elevator shafts. Three of these shafts are exclusively dedicated to the new generation of elevator technology, known as the Multi. This type of elevator does not require cables, and the cars are moved in the shafts via magnetic engineering.
The test tower was designed by the architects Werner Sobek and Helmut Jahn and has won numerous architectural, engineering and design awards. Its uniqueness has been described in superlatives. For example, it is the first building in the world that can be set in motion by a huge pendulum inside the tower shaft to simulate real wind pressure. The shaft is encased by a special fiberglass fabric that shapes the aerodynamic facade of the tower.
With a total height of 246 metres, the tower is also the highest building in Baden-Wurttemberg, the highest test tower in Europe and the highest building in the world with a textile shell.
Since 2017, it has been the location of the highest tower race in Western Europe. In different competitions, 1390 steps and 230 metres of altitude can be conquered in various disciplines. A true highlight for athletes and record challengers. The 700 starting places are sold out within minutes.
Even visitors with average fitness can quickly get up to speed here. The glass panorama elevator on the facade takes you to the viewing platform at a speed of 8 metres per second. Up there, the town of Rottweil is at your feet. With good visibility, you can see as far as the Alps, the Black Forest and even Stuttgart.