Richtfest – topping out the new swimming pool

Work stopped on the new swimming pool for a few hours last Wednesday afternoon (21st August, 2013) when the “Richtfest” – the topping-out ceremony – took place in the shell of the building.

Those present included  representatives from the town’s political parties, even those who had opposed the way the building is being financed, as well as the architect Dipl.-Ing. Detlef Sacker, the head of the company that will run the pool, Jürgen Funke, and Dr. Werner Freitag, president of the swimmers’ association in Hessen.  Hans Leimeister represented the local district council.

Mayor Hans-Georg Brum commented that it the building was not only the largest project that the town had ever undertaken, but it was also the one that had been discussed the most.

The carpenters' toast - Master Carpenter Jörg Pfeiffer and Carpenter Mario Herzig

The carpenters’ toast – Master Carpenter Jörg Pfeiffer and Carpenter Mario Herzig

He congratulated the architect, saying “I am looking forward to this pool”, and told the audience that the project was between 5 and 6 weeks behind schedule due to the last winter, but was still on target budgetwise.  It is planned to open the building on 15th July, 2014, with the outdoor pool re-opening slightly earlier.

The architect Detlef Sacker explained how energy efficient the building will be.  In the summer months the ventilation system can be turned off due to openings in the side of the building and it is planned to put solar panels on the roof to heat the water in the outside pool.

But he also made a point that will be music to some councillors ears, saying “it would make financial sense to complete the sauna“.

16,000 m³ of earth have been moved during the building process.

5,000 m³ of concrete have been used, along with 650 tonnes of steel.

The glass front is 840 m².

And as one of the last speakers Michael Weise, head of the company co-ordinating the building process, apologised to the neighbours  for the noise and inconvenience during the last year.

Finally it was the turn of Master Carpenter Jörg Pfeiffer and carpenter Mario Herzig to climb up the scaffolding to the say the “Zimmermannsspruch” – the carpeteners’ toast to the building in front of the “Richtkranz” – a decorated, bell-shaped object, hanging from the roof.  At the end of the toast, he threw the glass into the deep end of the main pool so that it shattered, something that is supposed to bring luck to the building.


About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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