By setting the keystone for construction of the dome for the Berlin Palace, MODERSOHN Stainless Steel completes one of the most important and extensive construction projects the manufacturer of specialized rust-proof stainless steel fittings has ever undertaken.
The atmosphere this August as the last stone was set in its appointed place to rebuild the historic dome on the Berlin City Palace was festive. Representatives of the construction companies and suppliers involved in the project were invited to the ceremony. Shortly before the construction site, formerly open to the public, was closed down, attendees witnessed one of the most important final acts of the ongoing reconstruction work on the City Palace.
Mr. Harald Rickenstorff, Head of the Special Projects for Rust-Proof Stainless Steel Fittings and Custom-made Department, travelled especially from the Eastern Westphalian city of Spenge for the occasion, headquarters of Wilhelm Modersohn GmbH & Co. KG, and explained: “I worked on this construction project for over 5 years. Among other elements, we manufactured the specialised support anchors for the reconstructed baroque natural stone façade and the eagle fittings made of Duplex stainless steel. In addition, we provided the support anchors for the historic dome and roughly 800 metres of rust-free stainless steel threaded bar. We processed and delivered a total of roughly 100 tonnes of stainless steel for the new City Palace”.
According to experts, highly resistant and long-lasting materials are key in historic reconstruction and monument renovation projects. Historic buildings, monuments, and sculptures especially need to stand up to the ravages of time and serve the public for many years to come. Although the City Palace is essentially a new building, the requirements for the reconstructed building's longevity are the same.
The company has been supplying highly complex anchor systems, anchor rails, and A4 attachment screws for precast parts since 2014 to a variety of natural stone processors for the reconstruction of the Berlin Palace. These stainless steel parts, primarily made of Duplex steel, are an especially good choice for permanently attaching the natural stone façade, eagle ornaments, and ultimately for the reconstruction of the dome itself.
“Since most of our stainless steel parts are hidden behind the façades or in elements, they are typically not visible. During the keystone ceremony on the concrete dome, I simply had to take the chance and see our fastening elements as installed one more time” says Mr Rickenstorff, reflecting a bit wistfully on the ceremony.
The Berlin Palace, also known today as the Berlin City Palace, has an almost six hundred year construction history. The palace, first constructed as a permanent residence for the Hohenzoller family in 1443 by the elector Frederick II, underwent a variety of expansions over the centuries to match the needs of the current ruling regents and architectural styles. During the Second World War, the castle was severely damaged in a bombing attack and finally demolished in 1950 by resolution of the GDR Council of Ministers.1 However, a Bundestag resolution of 4th July, 2002 and an advertised architectural competition in 2008 determined that three baroque façades, the Schlüterhof courtyard, the dome and the historic interior gates of the old Berlin Palace in Berlin Mitte should be reconstructed true to the original design. The Berlin Palace is a project of the Humboldt Forum, and will open its gates to the public in late 2019 as a museum, knowledge, and meeting centre as part of the “Historic Berlin City Centre” urban district planning project.