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Imperial High Flying in Royal Red

Imperial High Flying in Royal Red

In Vienna, a large sense of past history, monarchy and culture still runs through the streets – not only around St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Hofburg Palace, but also in the much-loved Wurstelprater, which this year celebrates its venerable 250th anniversary. A particular symbol of the golden era with worldwide attractions, flea circus and silk Sunday best clothing: the 'Riesenrad' Ferris Wheel, erected to mark the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef I. Yet even this unofficial landmark of the Habsburg metropolis has not quite lasted an “eternity” without scratches. To pay homage to its great history once again, it has been fitted with new gondolas in the 2016 anniversary year.

ADLER provides for the impeccable, Austrian red and white. A matter of honour.

 

HISTORIC CONSTRUCTION, ROYAL PAINTWORK

But let's start from the beginning: replacing the Vienna Riesenrad gondolas is no small matter of course, so there is an official invitation for tenders. And naturally this is not won by just anyone, but the architect, Wolfgang Rohrmoser, from the firm RP Architektur und Design GmbH. The key point: the gondolas destroyed during the war in 1944 should now be restored in their original look with six panoramic windows, all made true to the original. Because the whole project is subject to protection of historic monuments.

 

And this is where the joinery firm, Tischlerei Johann Prommegger GmbH from Grosal comes in, draws the design plans, selects suitable products and constructs the separate parts gondola by gondola, which are then put together by Schwaiger Konstruktions GmbH. The substructure is made of spruce wood and painted with ADLER VariColor in the colour RAL 9005 deep black. The outer shell, also in spruce, had to match the width of the historic gondolas, so there was little scope for ideal solutions, which Tischlerei Prommegger found nonetheless. Allowing the gondolas to gleam in their historic “imperial” red, on the other hand, was not difficult. For good protection and durability, they were primed once with Pullex Aqua-Imprägnierung von ADLER. The royal paintwork in the colour signal red is provided by two coats of  Pullex Aqua-Color. Everything on an environmentally friendly water basis, because it is not necessary to stay in the past in every respect after all.

 

BACK TO THE PAST, FORWARD TO THE NEXT CENTURIES

Let's come to the windows. After all, a ride on the Vienna Riesenrad is so pleasurable especially because it offers a wonderful view of this great city (not only in weather fit for an emperor, but of course particularly then). How good it was, therefore, that the architect had now planned six panoramic windows on each long side as originally, instead of the four after the reconstruction in the post-war period.

 

“We had to construct the windows so that the two middle panes could be lowered. The old gondolas were also fitted with a single-leaf sliding door. We had to come up with solutions here for locking a two-leaf sliding door in the middle so that it cannot be opened from the inside and also withstands any vandalism. These days the locking bolts and the position of the door are also monitored electronically,” explains Alexander Gschwandtl from Tischlerei Prommegger. These special sliding doors including two additional small windows are on the narrow side of the Viennese “aerial cabs” incidentally. Both are made of knot-free spruce wood and glossed inside with ADLER VariColor black and primed with Aqua-Isoprimer Pro. They were also given lasting protection with ADLER Pullex Aqua-Imprägnierung and painted twice with Pullex Aqua-Color W10 white. This makes the imperial red-white appearance of the gondolas perfect. So, here's to the next centuries turning imperial circles at height!

Project facts
Object
Riesenrad, Vienna
Products used
Planner
Tischlerei Johann Prommegger GmbH, RP Architektur und Design GmbH
Construction firms
Tischlerei Johann Prommegger GmbH

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