To ensure that the landmark of the Spreepark can rotate again in the future, renovation work on the Ferris Wheel has been underway since the first quarter of 2021. At the request of many citizens, the historical heritage of the park was taken up in the new concept: the old Ferris Wheel will be repaired, sustainably transformed and put back into operation.
After completion of the Spreepark of the future, the refurbished and transformed Ferris Wheel will once again take its place as a main attraction in the centre of the complex.
However, the foundations will not be placed directly in the water basin again, but it will be anchored at the edge of the future round water basin by means of a bold construction of supports and tension cables, so that the wheel with the gondolas will float directly above the water. At the highest point, the construction will allow visitors a panoramic view from a height of 45 metres; at the lowest point, the gondola will glide directly over the surface of the water.
The previous gondolas have to be replaced because they cannot be renovated. According to current plans, a round shape is planned here, based on the gondolas of the first Ferris Wheel in the Spreepark, which stood in Plänterwald from 1969 to 1989. The new, circular water basin, with barrier-free access to the Ferris Wheel, will also serve as a retention space for rainwater storage, for watering the green spaces and for cooling the microclimate at the site.
In a first step, the 45 meter high and 31 year old Ferris wheel will be dismantled. Parallel to the dismantling of the gondolas, spokes, masts and the Ferris wheel rim, the so-called orienting material testing will be carried out to determine which parts of the Ferris wheel are suitable for rehabilitation. This depends on the condition, stress and quality of the construction material. The testing is carried out with the involvement of the TÜV.
In parallel to the material tests scheduled for this year, an interdisciplinary team of engineers and artists is developing a design idea for the future Ferris wheel and its historic location. The goal is to artistically reinterpret the Ferris wheel in the sense of the overall concept of the Spreepark as a park for art, culture and nature and to make it even more attractive.
The actual refurbishment work will follow the orienting material testing. Until then, the parts of the dismantled Ferris wheel will remain on the Spreepark site, where all potentially reusable components are expected to undergo detailed material testing starting in May 2022. Subsequently, the refurbishment work will begin at the plant from 2023.
The Ferris wheel with its 40 gondolas was put into operation in 1989 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the GDR as the "largest Ferris wheel in Europe" and was operated until the amusement park closed in 2001. Since then, it has been exposed without restriction to environmental influences and, in parts, to vandalism. Routine maintenance measures and control inspections were no longer carried out. In 2014, initial condition investigations with regard to stability and recommissioning already took place. After the transfer of the site to Grün Berlin, a comprehensive as-built assessment was carried out in 2017.
In order for the Ferris Wheel at Spreepark to be renovated and sustainably transformed, extensive testing and inspection procedures as well as renovation measures are required. In order to be able to carry out these, the Ferris Wheel was dismantled at the beginning of 2021 and the individual parts are currently being stored in the park.
The tender is to be published in summer 2023 in order to find a suitable company for the renovation planning and also for the implementation of the necessary renovation measures on the historic Ferris wheel on the basis of the material tests that have been carried out.
In order for the Ferris wheel at Berlin's Spreepark to be put back into operation, it must first undergo a comprehensive material inspection to then be refurbished. For this purpose, the Ferris wheel was dismantled at the beginning of the year. The work can be followed in our time-lapse video.
The Ferris wheel at Spreepark is a landmark that can be seen from afar. In the next few weeks, however, the Ferris wheel, which has not been maintained for 20 years, will have to be dismantled in order to undergo a comprehensive material inspection and subsequent refurbishment before it can be reassembled at Spreepark. Christian Pfeuffer, project manager of the Ferris wheel refurbishment, tells us the background in the video.
After the dismantling of the Ferris wheel at Spreepark began on January 8, 2021, all Ferris wheel cabins were already removed over the weekend. Currently, the construction site is at rest.
As of today, the Ferris wheel at Spreepark is being dismantled by the Franke company in order to subject the structure to comprehensive testing and inspection procedures and then to refurbish it.
In the run-up to the redevelopment of the Spreepark Ferris wheel, which will begin on Friday, January 8, 2021, the first preliminary work was completed today. For example, the area around the Ferris wheel was developed and secured.