By using glazing to brace the facade construction of the control tower – designed by architects Ondra & Partners – controllers have the best possible view. Since no regulations existed for this innovative design, it required unique testing and approval procedures.
With a multidisciplinary team of facade planners and structural engineers, Arup's facade designers and structural engineers worked together to develop a façade concept that kept visible structural components to a minimum, ensuring controllers had maximum visibility.
Designed to take the strain
The complex structure comprises an elongated ground building for administration and technology, a 70m tower shaft and a flight station for the controllers – a 16-corner polygon on an elliptical floor plan in the pinnacle of the tower shaft. Two boxes, suspended from the tower shaft, accommodate server rooms, staff rooms and a crisis room.
The anticipated movement of the suspended structures, and the above-average strains this would produce, presented a significant challenge. In response, Arup developed bespoke façade elements with flexible connections.
Structural glazing improves safety by providing air traffic controllers with clear vision, with no obstacles in their way ” Rudi Scheuermann Arup Fellow and Global Building Envelope Design Leader
Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), the German air traffic control agency, has also appointed Arup to provide similar services on a control tower at Berlin’s new Brandenburg International Airport.
Both projects are part of a consistent, replicable design concept for control towers developed by architects Ondra & Partners and operated by DFS.