Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, 2020

Rank columns green courtyard in Freiburg

A vertical greening architecture by Jakob Rope Systems creates sustainable quality of stay for the inner courtyard of an office complex in Freiburg. The implemented concept of supporting ropes and tendril structures is a template that can also be integrated in other places.

Initial situation and concept:

In Freiburg im Breisgau, an area of around 60,000 square meters is being developed for offices, hotels, restaurants, shops, daycare centers and underground parking. In addition, there are 10,000 square meters of landscaped open space. The JobRad GmbH headquarters are located in the center of this area. A U-shaped office complex that encloses an inner courtyard on three sides.

This inner courtyard is intended to create a high quality of stay for the employees of the surrounding offices. For this reason, the heart of the inner courtyard is designed with a greening architecture with rope structures from Jakob Rope Systems. Seven slender columns stand upright in the courtyard. Soon plants will grow up them. The columns are supported by a Jakob rope structure that spans the sky of the courtyard. The greening concept implemented here creates an ecologically interesting template that can also be integrated in other places.

The architectural and landscaping planning for this project was developed in collaboration with the architects from böwer eith murken vogelsang (Freiburg) and bbz landschaftsarchitekten (Freiburg). Jakob Rope Systems supplied the rope structures, the calculations for the statics and carried out the assembly of the rope structures. Metallwerkstatt Heilmann (Waldkirch) assembled the steel structure.

Design and implementation:

During the planning and installation of the vertical columns, Jakob Rope Systems paid a great deal of attention to the exact positioning of the columns. For this purpose, precise alignment of the Forte-support elements was important. Each of the vertical and horizontal elements is aligned true to axis. The good coordination and cooperation with the architects, landscape planners and the steel construction department made it possible to quickly install the seven rank columns in only two working days.

Each climbing column rises 17 meters into the courtyard. The columns each consist of eight vertical tendril ropes (8 millimeters in diameter) that run through four form-giving rings. Towards the top, the trellis columns expand funnel-shaped into the sky. Support cables from the high-quality Jakob Forte series span the entire inner courtyard. The columns are suspended from them. At their base points, the columns are fixed to ring-shaped floor consoles, which are attached to the ceiling of the car park level below. Above the floor consoles are rectangular planters from which the climbing plants can grow upwards.

Details and geometry:

  • 7 columns, which widen upwards in a funnel shape
  • Each column 17 meters high, consisting of 8 tendril ropes and 4 shaping rings

Diameter upper ring: 2.4 meters
Diameter center ring 2: 1.5 meters
Diameter center ring 1: 1.5 meters
Diameter lower ring: 1.2 meter
Diameter floor console: 1.0 meter

(Photos: Roland Halbe, Stuttgart)

Jakob products and services:

  • Technical planning steel construction/cable construction
  • Detail statics rope construction
  • Production, delivery, assembly
  • Suspension ropes: Forte M30 system, Ø 22 mm
  • Tendril ropes: Forte M12 system, Ø 8 mm