1. May 2015

Ber­liner builds the biggest spa­tial net for Swarovski Crys­tal Worlds’ play tower

The Swarovski Crys­tal Worlds is one of Austrian’s most vis­ited tour­ist attrac­tions. The 3,5 hec­tares park stretches in a gor­geous set­ting close to Swarovski’s headquar­ters in Wat­tens. With a total invest­ment of 34 mil­lion Euros the amuse­ment park is cur­rently being sig­ni­fic­antly expan­ded. With 7,5 hec­tares the area will be more than doubled. Besides the crys­tal­line park land­scape, the expan­sion of the fam­ily and chil­dren areas takes cen­ter stage. Includ­ing the play tower – a five story play house made out of glass.

The biggest play struc­ture inside the glass tower is a 97m³ spa­tial net. It spreads over four floors and is con­nec­ted dir­ectly to the build­ing. The climb­ing inside a three-dimen­sion­al space chal­lenges and pro­motes chil­dren, their psy­cho­mo­tor abil­it­ies and their visu­al think­ing. It’s the biggest spa­tial net ever installed inside a build­ing and it accom­mod­ates up to 120 chil­dren. The fam­ily-owned Ber­liner Seil­fab­rik has been con­trac­ted with the imple­ment­a­tion. Here, in the early 70s the first spa­tial net for play struc­tures was built.

A spa­tial net con­sists of uni­form, geo­met­ric spa­tial cells. With a clas­sic rope-based play struc­ture the net is ten­sioned equally via sym­met­ric­ally arranged ten­sion­ing points. Dur­ing the building’s plan­ning phase open­ings for a future spa­tial net had been con­sidered, how­ever, they have posed a par­tic­u­lar chal­lenge to Ber­liner Seilfabirk’s experts. Though in line with the building’s design the open­ings have not been sym­met­ric. For more than 40 years the com­pany has been man­u­fac­tur­ing play­ground equip­ment includ­ing three-dimen­sion­al nets, exper­i­ence that has now paid off.

The huge spa­tial net’s main ten­sion­ing points were attached to the open­ings provided in the steel frame­work via Berliner’s Astem TT ten­sion­ing sys­tem. Spe­cial ropes, tailored to the build­ing were attached to the spa­tial net’s sides and between the wood pit lin­ing in the ceil­ing as well as the win­dows’ side between the steel con­struc­tion. From there, using turn­buckles an addi­tion­al guy rope was con­nec­ted to the spa­tial net, restor­ing the import­ant, even ten­sion with­in the spa­tial net. Des­pite the detailed pre­par­a­tion includ­ing 3D plan­ning, suc­cess­ful exe­cu­tion wouldn’t be pos­silbe without Ber­liner Seilfabrik’s spe­cial­ists on site, as the ropes needed to be threaded indi­vidu­ally to per­fectly adapt to the build­ing and to ensure maxi­umum safety and longev­ity. Addi­tion­al safety is provided by a safety net installed all around the net struc­ture.

The Swarovski Crys­tal Worlds has been around for 20 years, ori­gin­ally opened in cel­eb­ra­tion of the company’s 100 years anniversary. After a half year long recon­struc­tion phase of all premises, the reopen­ing was April 30th, 2015.

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