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Valentine's Day 2019: Thyssenkrupp Lights up German Elevator Test Tower for the First Time

Star architects Prof. Werner Sobek and Helmut Jahn strived to create a "Tower of Light" with the thyssenkrupp test tower in Rottweil, Germany. For one day, it will now also become the "Tower of Love".

Photo credits: thyssenkrupp Elevator

On February 14, Valentine's Day, the lighting system of the test tower will be switched on for the first time. The tower has become a landmark in the Swabian Alb in Germany and a major attraction in this region. On this particular day, the 246-meter-high tower will shine from dusk onwards for the first time – and almost each evening from then on. Just in time for the official sunset at 5.44 p.m., the first couple that got married last year at 220 meters high in the test tower, will flip the switch to illuminate the whole facility with 44 spotlights.

Residents and shop owners are invited to put lights in their windows in return so that a veritable “dialogue of lights” will start between the test tower and the city. The dialogue of lights will also visualize the good relationship between the historic, picturesque town of Rottweil and the elegant, unique thyssenkrupp test tower.

“The nighttime lighting has been an integral part of my design concept from the very beginning. The lighting had to be just as tender and virtually ‘immaterial’ as the tower’s fabric shell itself: elegant, unobtrusive, light as a feather – and by no means colorful or garish”, said Prof. Werner Sobek, one of the test tower architects.

Successful concepts all over the world

The iconic facility for testing MULTI, the world’s first ropeless elevator for high-rise buildings, and for testing conventional high-speed elevators, certainly is a unique building, but by no means thyssenkrupp Elevator’s only impressive test tower. In China and the USA, equally modern towers are or will be heading skywards, offering opportunities for extensive testing of the latest technologies and designs. In 2018, a 248-meter-high tower was put into operation in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, China. It has 13 shafts in which tomorrow's elevator solutions can prove their practical suitability.

In Atlanta, Georgia, a 128-meter-high tower with 18 shafts will soon be built, center stage of a large research facility and adjacent to the Atlanta Braves baseball stadium. Here too all capacities and technologies are available to put elevator models and concepts through their paces. The entire campus including the tower is scheduled for completion in early 2022.

A real public attraction

15,000 cubic meters of concrete and more than 2,500 tonnes of steel have been used to build the Rottweil test tower. For the textile architecture, industrial climbers wrapped the tower in 17,000 square meters of glass fibre in countless 24-hour shifts. The polymer-coated texture not only gives the building that ‘certain something’ but also protects it from intense sunshine and reduces the building’s movement by breaking down the forces of the wind.

The thyssenkrupp test tower has not only proven fantastic from a technical and entrepreneurial point of view, but it has also has conquered the hearts of the local people and has become an integral part of a region that is already blessed with a great scenery and many attractions.

The love affair between the tower and all fans of cutting-edge technology and spectacular vistas continues: So far, over 255,000 visitors have enjoyed the view from Germany’s highest viewing deck. Apart from triggering a veritable tourism boom, the elevator test tower has also made a name for itself in other ways: whether by the highest stair run in Western Europe (up 1,390 steps) or by four marriage proposals and one wedding ceremony that have taken place above the clouds.

The tower lights will be switched on every night from Valentine’s Day on with the exception of various weeks each year in which bird migration takes place. To guarantee all citizens a good night’s sleep, may it be humans or animals, the lights go off between 1 am and 5 am.


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