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Dubai has The Burj, but Berlin might get The Berg

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November 19, 2009

The Berg - a 1km-tall man-made mountain, but is it a hoax or a real opportunity?

The Berg - a 1km-tall man-made mountain, but is it a hoax or a real opportunity?

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Hoax or hopeful? Sky high or pie-in-the-sky? German architect Jakob Tigges has unleashed a daring plan to create a man-made mountain in Berlin – not exactly a feature you instantly associate with the German city, but if this “project” gets approval that could change. According to The Berg website, Berliners are getting behind the project as another tourist-attracting (money-making) option for their fair city.

The 1,000m-tall fake mountain is proposed for the site of the former Tempelhof airport and would be the largest man-made mountain ever constructed, even collecting snow on its peak. But although an uninhabitable monolith of this magnitude might look appealing to some, funding for it might be another matter. Not to mention the environmental impact of such a structure.

Via the Berg website, Tigges writes: “While big and wealthy cities in many parts of the world challenge the limits of possibility by building gigantic hotels with fancy shapes, erecting sky-high office towers or constructing hovering philharmonic temples, Berlin sets up a decent mountain … Hamburg, as stiff as flat, turns green with envy, rich and once proud Munich starts to feel ashamed of its distant Alp-panorama and planners of the Middle-East, experienced in taking the spell off any kind of architectural utopia immediately design authentic copies of the iconic Berlin-Mountain.”

Whether the world is gullible or people truly want to see and experience The Berg, the project is attracting a lot of local media, a huge following on Facebook and looks to have some product endorsements already. The mountain is so big it would alter the weather surrounding it and attract a wide range of flora and fauna. It would also provide Berliners with a convenient location to enjoy a range of activities including skiing, hang-gliding and rock climbing.

It seems like a monumental task, but we’ll keep a watching brief on The Berg to see if Berlin can indeed make a mountain out of a molehill. What do you think? Potential man-made monstrosity or marvel?

Via Inhabitat

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10 Comments

28 years ago, two issues of the Iron Man comic book took place in "Der Hand von Himmel," which was supposed to be a top secret East German research facility located inside a mountain. It looked an awful lot like this. Has Jakob Tigges been reading his old issues again?

On the other hand, imagine if it was built hollow and the oodles of interior volume was available for all sorts of purposes. Everything from a huge amount of residential space to shopping malls to industrial manufacturing. It could be a city within a city. Of course, all of that space would be windowless, but nobody ever said there wouldn't be drawbacks.

Gadgeteer
21st November, 2009 @ 03:53 pm PST

Good luck hauling in two hundred million truck loads of dirt, rock and rubble over centuries of time...(see math below).

How long until the locals forget all about the "benefits" and start screaming for the traffic, noise, road damage, dust and diesel smells to just go away?

Also, the steep angles for rock-climbing are not possible, unless they are "cast" in place... regular dirt/sand will only assume a 30-36 degree angle (friction angle of sand). http://www.civil.iitb.ac.in/~dns/IACMAG08/pdfs/E01.pdf

From afar, the "mountain" will just look like a formless circular cone of dirt, and no where near the artist's rendering, with steep rocky crags and peaks.

There will also need to be an aggressive grass/flora landscaping concurrently to reduce mudslides in heavy rains. I wouldn't want to live below this behemoth in a monsoon...and no bank would finance that megadollar hotel below the thing while constructions is ongoing. But, maybe when it's finished in the year 2652.

Good luck, Deutschland!

Doc

Math:

Volume of a cone: V=1/3 pi r^2 h

r=1,500m

h = 1,000m

V = 2.356 BILLION cubic meters

If a LARGE dump truck holds 10 cubic meters, this is about 235 MILLION dump truck loads of clay, sand and dirt.

If the roads could support a THOUSAND truckloads a day utilizing outlying road infrastructure (unlikely), that would be 235,000 days of construction... guess how many years that is??? Yes, that is 643 years to build this pipedream.

matthew.rings
22nd November, 2009 @ 11:23 pm PST

Would this mountain be symbolic of Germany trying to bury it's past? I've seen some crazy schemes, and this comes into the same category. I recently watched a program about the Everest theme ride at Disney. It is tiny by comparison, and that looked extremely difficult to construct with an internal steel structure. Berlin's mountain would be impossible to build with earth and rock. As someone else said, it would just collapse to it's angle of repose.

windykites1
23rd November, 2009 @ 05:37 am PST

I'm thinking that they are planning on building it hollow.

That would take a lot less dirt, and give the structure the needed features.

Darren Johnson
23rd November, 2009 @ 07:39 am PST

Yes maybe a hollow, scaled down version could be realised, with the Mont Saint Michel or the Sacre Coeur in Paris (no, I´m not french) as guideline... there´d you have a new old neighbourhood, with a spectacular building on top, something that will catch the eye, and inside there could be all sorts of things, like megasupermarkets, supermovie theaters, snow pistes á la Dubai (see?), sports staduim, and whatever is ugly from the outside but deemed necessary in a city like Berlin (hint: cars, trainstations, goods transfer centres... with that sort of stuff you´d fill a fair sized mountain..

bas
23rd November, 2009 @ 02:22 pm PST

Okay, so you want to build it "hollow".

Remember, weight and structures grow at the cube of their height. This would require so many verticle beams and cross members, it would basically be "unusable" on the inside as you envision. It would be like a skyscaper tower at best in parts, but the concrete and steel bases would be mammoth, and have to be spaced only so many meters apart.

Go to the website and compare the size of this thing to the skyscrapers it has in the diagrams: and now envision the dozens of monolithic columns that hold them up, and then cross-correlate that to this "hollow" mountain. It won't even be close to hollow.

The weather system even inside this thing would produce rain on the inside (even the NASA shuttle assembly building has it's own weather system inside... and it's not even 1/10 this high).

The amount of concrete and steel to build this would still take a hundred years to build, at 24/7/365 of pouring and lifting concrete to those heights, let alone trucking in the hundreds of miles of steel girders over decades of time...

Folks, this is a pipe dream, and a money scam, built on the ignorance of the masses to physics and engineering...

Again, GOOD LUCK, Deutschland!!!

Doc

matthew.rings
23rd November, 2009 @ 03:54 pm PST

Hollow is even more ludicrous. They show 60 foot pine trees and shrubs... you want to figure out how deep the soil has to be to hold up a million tons of soil on that structure?

The interior would be nothing but monolithic steel and cross beams and concrete, with barely room to walk about.

Remember, the mass cubes as the size doubles... would you like to still guess the amount of concrete and steel and soil required to build this behemoth pipe dream?

The mass would make it collapse under modern engineering materials. Unless it was made out of solid granite columns (right!)

Construction would be even more difficult than trucking in just dirt to make it a mound... it would have thousands upon thousands of columns higher than any modern skyscraper, and with limitations in workers, parking, roads as infrastructure to the site, would take hundreds of years to build.

Look at the hotel at it's base... that would take approximately two years to build alone... now compare that to the sheer volume of the mountain! Go to the website and show the comparisons to the most monumental skyscrapers built to date and the cost and complexity of those... now multiply that x10,000 (remember the Galileo's Cube rule) and you might get close. So estimate 200 years to build??? or More???

Not only would it have weather systems on the outside (see website), it would have weather on the INSIDE! Constant rain and dripping and fog from the various temperature and humidity layers.

Folks... this is just a money scam and frivolous joy-ride for those ignorant of physics and engineering...

Please, for the love of all things logical... IT'S A PIPE-DREAM.

Back to reality, please...

Doc

matthew.rings
23rd November, 2009 @ 10:31 pm PST

It's not like Germany hasn't done this before! While it's only 120 meters tall, Devil's Mountain was created by the tons of debris from the bombed city of Berlin. http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,2637505,00.html

In fact, there are hills and "mountains" like this all over Germany!

Ed

Ed
24th November, 2009 @ 02:22 pm PST

Ease up, matthew.rings. It wouldn't be all that different from the Tetra City concept, a two-mile high metal pyramid that came from the mind of Buckminster Fuller. Fuller knew a few things about structural design, as the inventor of the geodesic dome, tensegrity mast, octet truss, etc.

Gadgeteer
28th November, 2009 @ 07:22 am PST

they could fill it with expanding foam equivalent, especially for the rock formations.

Trentyn
23rd March, 2010 @ 07:27 pm PDT
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