Raising a major structure for the rebuilding of Dresden’s Frauenkirche / Church of our Lady
In summer 2001 we were commissioned to raise the head of a stair tower, one of the very few major structures preserved of Dresden’s original Frauenkirche and nicknamed “The Butterfly” on account of its curved projections resembling the shape of the fluttering creature.
This structure had been lying among the collapsed ruins of the church since it was bomb-gutted in 1945. To implement the lifting process safely, a concrete pipe was cast into the major segment, after which an auxiliary reinforcement was inserted for heaving “The Butterfly” by crane and the entire structure securely enclosed in a steel frame.
Our job involved aligning the major segment (G35) weighing a total of 108 t – in the direction of travel by means of a swivel hook before rotating it 180° and moving it on a track system some 25 m towards the church building. On the area in front of the church two large-sized strip foundations were encased in concrete onto which we mounted our track system. In the course of the lifting process, we adjusted each of the four gantries of the hydraulic hoisting system horizontally and vertically, so as to move the major structure with its inherent lateral forces into position (a tricky job calling for millimetre precision) from where it was later hoisted by crane into the church building.
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