Spatial Rope Net Play Tower, Swarovski Crystal Worlds, Austria
The Swarovski Crystal Worlds is one of Austrian’s most visited tourist attractions. The 3,5 hectares park stretches in a gorgeous setting close to Swarovski’s headquarters in Wattens. With a total investment of 34 million Euros the amusement park is currently being significantly expanded to 7,5 hectares which will more than double its size. Besides the crystalline park landscape, the expansion of the family and child areas takes centre stage including the play tower – a five-story playhouse made out of glass.
The biggest play structure inside the glass tower is a 97m³ spatial net. It spreads over four floors and is connected directly to the building. Climbing inside a three-dimensional space challenges and promotes children’s psychomotor abilities and their visual thinking. It’s the biggest spatial net ever installed inside a building and it accommodates up to 120 children. The family-owned Berliner Seilfabrik were contracted with the implementation. In the early 70s Berliner built the first spatial net for play structures.
A spatial net consists of uniform, geometric spatial cells. With a classic rope-based play structure the net is tensioned equally via symmetrically arranged tensioning points. During the building’s planning phase openings for a future spatial net had been considered, however, they have posed a particular challenge to Berliner Seilfabirk’s experts. Though in line with the building’s design the openings have not been symmetric. For more than 40 years the company has been manufacturing playground equipment including three-dimensional nets, experience that has now paid off.
The huge spatial net’s main tensioning points were attached to the openings provided in the steel framework via Berliner’s Astem TT tensioning system. Special ropes, tailored to the building were attached to the spatial net’s sides and between the wood pit lining in the ceiling as well as the windows’ side between the steel construction. From there, using turnbuckles an additional guy rope was connected to the spatial net, restoring the important, even tension within the spatial net. Despite the detailed preparation including 3D planning, successful execution would not have be possible without Berliner Seilfabrik’s specialists on site, as the ropes needed to be threaded individually to perfectly adapt to the building and to ensure maxiumum safety and longevity. Additional safety is provided by a safety net installed all around the net structure.
The Swarovski Crystal Worlds has been around for 20 years, originally opened in celebration of the company’s 100 years anniversary.