Wolff tower cranes in Berlin

By Alex Dahm02 July 2020

Continuous change has characterised Berlin since the early 1990s, soon after the wall came down between east and west.

A focus for developers speaking of a Berlin boom is the Kurfürstendamm, the famous shopping high street. The Gloria Berlin links historic mid-19th Century buildings with the latest modern design. Contractor Mark A. Krüger Bauunternehmung used three Wolff tower cranes for the construction in three parts. They worked on the 25.000 square metre site at Kurfürstendamm 12-15 for a year. April saw completion of the structural work, including two underground levels and six floors above ground, plus a technical level.

Installation of the cranes on the restricted city site was challenging. “Since a complete closure of the Ku’damm is virtually unthinkable and an adjacent subway line made it impossible to position a mobile crane outside of the construction pit, Wolffkran was asked to come up with a creative solution for the crane assembly,” said Mathias Lippski, site manager at Mark A. Krüger Bauunternehmung.

The cranes were 8.5 tonne 5020.8 clear and 6015.8 clear flat tops and a 12 tonne 180 B luffer. Assembly was using a 300 tonne capacity wheeled mobile crane set up in the construction pit. Where the luffer was erected, in the centre of the pit foundations were reinforced to take the 80 tonne corner loads of the mobile crane. All the tower cranes were erected on foundation anchors to their final freestanding heights of 51 and 56 metres.

Lippski commented, “The confined space of the city construction site required particular precision in positioning the three Wolff cranes.” Available space was further limited by placement of elevators and escalators.

The 180 B luffing jib crane covered most of the site with its 45 metre jib and it could also get around the restriction presented by an adjacent taller building. It was used for heavy lifts and pouring concrete, supported by the two flat top cranes. Configured with 25 and 35 metre jibs they handled the steel and concrete for two narrow side wings of the building.

On completion the luffer was used to dismantle the two flat tops – a good job because there was no room to set up a mobile crane again. After it has lifted in the remaining heavy equipment for technical services the 180 B will be dismantled and removed from site.

The Gloria Berlin opens in early 2021. It is a mix of natural stone facades, as used in the old buildings along the Kurfürstendamm, with modern full height windows. Wolffkran has worked in the capital city with local contractor Mark A. Krüger Bauunternehmung on multiple projects, including at the Salzufer and the Alexanderplatz.


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