Complex room scaffolding including cladding in the largest baroque church north of the Alps
In the south-east of Baden-Württemberg, near Ravensburg, you will find the small town of Weingarten, which, since the consecration of the Basilica of St. Martin in 1724, can boast of being the site of the largest Baroque church north of the Alps. At that time, however, Weingarten was still called "Altdorf"; since 1865, the name of the Weingarten monastery has also been the name of the town. The basilica is part of this monastery, whose origins date back to 1056. The church building was modelled on St. Peter's Basilica in Rome - on a modest scale of 1:2, which still gives it a proud length of 102 metres, with a dome height of 67 metres. Music connoisseurs will be interested to know that the basilica has a technically and culturally historically important organ by the master builder Joseph Gabler with over six and a half thousand pipes, whose extraordinarily complex construction is due to the fact that the six windows of the west façade, where the organ pipes are positioned, were not allowed to be covered. The organ was completed in 1750 after 13 years of construction.
More than 270 years later, Lindner Gerüstbau GmbH from Kolkwitz was able to distinguish itself with complex building skills when it received the order to provide interior and exterior scaffolding for the extensive renovation until 2026 in three construction phases. Restoration of the ceiling frescoes, renovation of all wall surfaces in the interior as well as roof and façade renovation were on the wish list of the client: Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg, Amt Ravensburg.
Lindner Gerüstbau is part of the Lindner Group, a pan-European company for interior fittings, facade construction and insulation technology. Facade and industrial scaffolding, special constructions, heavy-duty scaffolding and scaffolding for architecturally demanding structures in the chemical and petrochemical sectors are the main focuses of the company, which has been in existence since 2005.
The entrances to the monastery grounds attached to the basilica were wide enough for carriages at the time, but deny today's articulated lorries passage, so that the necessary scaffolding material had to be reloaded onto 3.5-tonne flatbed lorries. For the vertical transport in the church, two GEDA lifts were used below the vault; above the vault, the material was transported via a specially created access through the church windows in the façade with a Scanclimber 2000.
For the extensive adaptation of the scaffolding to the complex building geometry inside the baroque building, Lindner Gerüstbau used 280 t of RINGSCAFF modular scaffolding from german manufacturer Scafom-rux: approx. 13,000m³ of the versatile system was used. The spans of the choir and nave stalls were constructed as standing trusses over three scaffolding levels. Here, Lindner Gerüstbau was able to make full use of its experience in highly complex room scaffolding, which is usually used in the chemical and petrochemical industries. In complete contrast to this was the requirement to exercise extreme caution during assembly and operation so as not to risk any damage to the interior of the magnificent church building. The motto of the construction: "Not a scratch!" But even the most delicate recesses and gap closures - for example, several reliefs and sculptures positioned at great heights on the walls and ceiling had to be almost artfully refitted - were mastered by the Lindner team.
For the additional protection of the valuable interior furnishings - including important frescoes, carvings and altars - the visible and dust-tight enclosure of the vertical surfaces with the SCAFFGUARD scaffolding cladding, which can be used across all systems, was carried out after the scaffolding was erected on an area of approx. 1,400m², which also had a sound-insulating effect in the direction of the church interior. This was because the interior of the church had to remain usable for visitors during the standstill period. Thanks to the easy handling of the SCAFFGUARD system, both during cutting and assembly, it was possible for the professionals from Lindner to line even the complex vaulted ceilings and cut-outs with the lightweight plastic panels in the correct shape. Anyone who previously thought that scaffolding was more of a craft "for the rough" can be disabused of this notion in view of this extraordinary project. Last but not least, 2,100 m² of façade scaffolding was also used on the exterior. An operation that is technically downright modest in comparison to the interior construction. 6 Lindner employees had 10 weeks to complete the interior and exterior scaffolding of the first construction phase.
The planning of the complex armour was carried out by the company AeDis AG für Planung, Restaurierung und Denkmalpflege from Ebersbach-Roßwälden in cooperation with the engineering office Speer from Karlsruhe, the static calculations were carried out by the engineering office Specht from Schalksmühle in Westphalia.
Lindner construction manager Stefan Schiller is already looking forward to the next construction phases of the basilica restoration: "At Lindner, we already have a very wide range of applications, where we like to draw on a fund of concentrated experience to find solutions. But we are not afraid to implement new ideas either, because we work with extremely well-trained staff, with top materials and qualified partners. But being able to be involved in a project like this is of course also something very special for us!"