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air traffic control tower; air traffic control tower;

Air traffic control towers, Frankfurt and Berlin

Replicable design concept providing maximum visibility

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.

Maximum visibility

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 ” Portrait of Rudi Scheuermann Rudi Scheuermann Arup Fellow and Global Building Envelope Design Leader

Berlin 

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.

Arup's Rudi Scheuermann discusses the innovative use of structral glazing to provide air traffic controllers with uninterrupted views.