Wolffs in the mountains

By Alex Dahm22 February 2011

Wolff towers on the Panorama Center project in Thun, Switzerland

Wolff towers on the Panorama Center project in Thun, Switzerland

Six Wolff towers are making their mark on a shopping centre construction project in the Bernese Alps.

Local contractor Frutiger AG is building the aptly named Panorama-Center against a backdrop of the Stockhorn chain; the Niesen, the Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau mountains in Switzerland. In addition to the spectacular scenery, the shopping centre in Thun also has a view of a new football stadium.

Frutiger ordered six Wolff tower cranes for the start of construction in April 2010. Among these were a model 6522 and a 7532 plus two each of the 6531 and 7031.

The saddle jib 7532 has a maximum radius of 75 metres where tip load is 3.3 tonnes. Maximum hook height of the 315 tonne-metre class crane is 51.8 m.

"A strong troop", said Christian Scherrer, Frutiger project manager. "We need them here too, as we move very heavy loads."

Numbers on the project include 45,000 cubic metres of concrete, 420,000 kg of reinforcement steel, 50,000 square metres of concrete roof panels, 24,000 square metres of masonry and 40,000 square metres of wall formwork will be built in West Street.

Frutiger, a Swiss family business, and the German crane manufacturer have worked together for years.

Planned construction time is about a year. "We cannot afford any downtime. Therefore, it was important that we could rely 100 percent on the technology," said Christian Scherrer.

The shell work will be finished in February and the construction work in spring (April or May). The football stadium opens in June 2011 and the two storey Panorama Center around October.

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