Pyramidenkogel Tower - The Traveller


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Pyramidenkogel Tower


Pyramidenkogel Tower – Well-Known Innovative Tourist Attraction

Pyramidenkogel, an 851 metre high mountain in Carinthia, Austria is situated towards the south of the Worthersee, near the town of Maria Worth. It is located in an area which is a border between speakers of German and Slovenian. In Slovenia area, the mountain is known as Jedvovca and has been a tourist attraction from late 19th century.

In 1950, a wooden observation platform was built and a cross, as a remembrance of the dead of World War I and World War II and the `victims of the mountains’. The cross had been consecrated on August 20, 1950. At the end of summer, an annual `Trausteinmessue - a special Mass, is celebrated. Between 1966 and 1968, a 54 metre tall observation and broadcasting tower made of steel and concrete – Pyramidenkogel Tower was built which was a well-known innovative tourist attraction as per the rough Guide to Austria.

Towards July 2006, there were plans to tear down the prevailing tower to replace it with a new building, a multi-purpose activity centre. This was approved in 2007 for which €10 million was kept aside in 2008, by the Carinthian government. Competition for the new design had started in 2007 wherein the firm of Klaura & Kaden won it and construction began by late 2008.

Ladder into Heaven of Stacked Ellipses

The old tower was collapsed in October 2008, though financial as well as political issues prevented any new construction. Austrian architects, Markus Klaura together with Dietmar Kaden and civil engineering practice Lackner & Raml as well as an entrepreneurial consortium inclusive of Rubner Hozbau joined together and worked in close union in order to complete the world’s highest observation tower in Carinthia, Austria.

Situated on the top of the Pyramidenkogel Mountain, this project openly challenges the tower typology as it searches through a 10 storey helix shaped structure which reaches a height of 100 m. The new tower which was completed in 2013 has been described by Dietmar Kaden as a `Himmelsleiter aus gestapelten Ellipsen’ – a ladder into heaven made of stacked ellipses which functions as a `Leuchtturm der Holzbranche’ – a lighthouse for the timber industry. No name had been decided, though Markus Klaura had proposed `Isis Noreia’ after the goddesses Isis and Noreia.

Tallest Wooden Observation Tower

The tower was built of steel and wood and is the tallest wooden observation tower in the world. The architects had designed the structure featuring a visitor’s platform at 83 metres, a café at 70 metres and a long slide of 66 metres.

 The tower is said to be PEFC-certife. Huge wooden columns elliptical rings together with steel diagonal supports were painstakingly assembled in order to generate a curvaceous basket like structure within which are most of the circulation facilities together with three 360 degree observation decks, a multipurpose covered glass lounge as well as a slide that gives the visitors quick and fun filled way down.

Replacing the 40 year old tower, this intricate wood-steel framework sits on a concrete slab which has been deeply embedded into the bedrock of 20-long anchors. At ground level tourist can access the main structure through a masonry built podium which has been designed to accommodate public places like a foyer, shop, restaurant and box-office.

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