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Karls Climbing Silos

Just in time for spring and therefore the start of the amusement park season, Karl’s Erlebnis-Dorf (Adventure Village) opens new playgrounds at various locations. One of them in Elstal close to Berlin and in Zirkow on Rügen.

The two new play structures in Elstal und Zirkow are especially spectacular and possibly record-breaking. Karl’s Climbing Silos are 13.2 metre high twin climbing towers with a 130 m³ size net inside and a slide of almost 17 m length, which takes the summiteers back to the ground.

The landscape architect in charge, Ute Hoffmann, Bürogemeinschaft Stadt- und Dorfplanung, describes: “The idea for Karl’s climbing silo developed in our Karl planning group from various requirements. On the one hand, we wanted to establish something unique for the older kids as well, as we all have children of our own, who have partially “outgrown” the normal playgrounds for kids. My own sons for example are 12 and 14 years old.” A net is the perfect base for this. Climbing in a three-dimensional room challenges and encourages the kids, their psychomotor abilities and their three-dimensional imaginative power. The rope is the suitable playmate. It reacts to the movement of the kids. Every step and each grip offers movement.

She then explained: “The further challenge was to create a great attraction on a little space. The existing 12 m high firefighting water tank was to be included thematically. As we like to integrate common village structures in Karl’s Adventure Villages, we invented the design of the twin silo towers. The Climbing Silo was to look as if it were still under construction and therefore very airy. This increases the height adventure for the kids and the guests on the Hof terraces are fully entertained while watching the kids. The transparent design has been implemented very well with the choice of the material and the color of the ropes. Except for the outer skeleton, made of steel posts and steel rings, only different rope attachments were to be used. This also turned out very well and makes the climbing experience unique. Especially in Elstal we were also able to include a further, higher located gastronomic terrace through a tunnel“.


Marius Kotte, architect at the Berliner Seilfabrik (Rope Factory) and head of the construction and development department, explicitly names the height of the device as a special challenge: “We had to make sure that it was possible to connect the parts without big measuring tolerances, as the net does not allow much measure deviation. Here, however, it was already the tolerances of the pipe supplier that gave us a headache, as this was already at +- 50mm with the 13m long poles. Due to the length of the posts, a mounting by simply positioning and screwing together was not possible. In addition, this kind of net has never been built before. For the net, connecting details between the tightening ball and the poles had to be developed. The net is hung in a “swimming” position; this means that the upper balls are brought into position by guy ropes. Here, too, a deviation from the system measures was not allowed.”, said Marius Kotte.

“Concerning the slide, the difficulty was to manage the run in such a way, that the net tunnel was bypassed and the required space for the landing did not exceed the existing area and the maximum permitted incline was adhered to. For this reason, the slide has a sharp bend in it after passing the tunnel. The last piece has an incline of almost 40° (usual are 30-35°). The real goal of the climbing adventure is the tube slide, which fits perfectly into the complete picture with its rusty look!“ says Ute Hoffmann. Marius Kotte explained: “This rusty look of the poles developed without additional work all by itself and naturally and is only on the surface. On simple steel, so-called flash rust builds up rather quickly. This really only makes clothes dirty, nothing more. In order to avoid corrosion in the foundation, an epoxy coating was applied, as the vulnerability for rust is extremely high in this place. We also increased the maintenance intervals. The poles have a thicker walling than they statically need in order to be definitely on the safe side regarding this aspect. The rusty look of the slide, which is really made from stainless steel, is achieved through a foil that is wetted with metal particles. These particles also build flash rust and make the slide look old“. At the opening, which took place on the scheduled date, in the middle of March, the kids took over command and took the climbing tower by storm. And Mrs. Hoffmann is enthusiastic, too: “We think that Karl´s Climbing Silo is very well-done and was implemented by the Berliner Seilfabrik in a unique way with no look-alike. It fits really well into our playing concept“.

With kind regards from Berlin

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