Monday noon witnessed the raising of the topping-out garland at the building site of the CityCube Berlin. Around 300 guests came to the roofing ceremony of the capital’s new venue for congresses and trade fairs to thank the architects, planners, engineers and construction workers for what they have achieved to date. In addition to representatives of politics, industry and trade associations, numerous congress organisers also took part in this traditional ceremony. The foundation stone of this multi-purpose hall on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds had already been laid eleven months earlier. When it opens in March 2014 it can host events with up to 11,000 participants.
Raimund Hosch, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH, praised the commitment of everyone involved in the construction effort. Only eleven months had passed since the foundation stone had been laid, he said. The bad weather conditions, particularly in March, had caused problems for everyone – the building site workers, construction company managers and ultimately the building’s owners and developers. “It is all the more praiseworthy that this roofing ceremony is taking place today and that there has been hardly any deviation from the original time schedule“, said Hosch. Ever since the foundation stone had been laid this new multi-purpose congress and exhibition hall had sparked keen interest both in Germany and abroad, he added. “Booking levels are already high for events in 2014 and numerous bookings have already been taken for the years to follow. We can justifiably say that even before its completion the CityCube Berlin has taken up its position on the market for national and international events.“
Cornelia Yzer, Berlin Senator for Economics, Research and Technology: “We are proud that Berlin is now among the world’s top three international congress venues. Completion of the ultra-modern City Cube means that we are well equipped to meet the challenges of the future and are able to compete on level terms with many other major cities around the world and their trade fair and congress venues. Thus the City Cube represents an important investment for the future of Berlin.”
As the tower crane slowly hoisted the topping-out garland skywards the site foremen Frank Pröger (Alpine Bau Deutschland AG) and Martin Kurzius (Schrobsdorff Bau AG) wished the building well, in the hope that it will remain “safe from storms, fires, lightning and floods.“ After toasting the building’s owners and developers and the trades involved, in keeping with tradition Frank Pröger smashed his glass and wished the building good luck.
Construction continues apace with more and more trades
The assembly of the 13 roof trusses, a spectacular event, took place only a few days before the roofing ceremony. Derricks were deployed capable of lifting up to 500 tonnes. These were needed in order to position the two halves of the roof trusses before they could be bolted together in the middle. The trusses are 70 metres long and weigh 22 tonnes and are the key elements of the roof’s structure.
Work continues apace on every floor of the building. A steel structure for the foyer is being assembled at the main entrance, while work on the glass facade at the south entrance is also progressing. Inside the building shell installation work on the technical equipment has begun. An ever-increasing number of trades are now involved in the proceedings. Currently around 100 workers are employed on the site. Over the coming months this number will rise to 400, representing 30 different trades.
Construction and booking news – keen interest at home and abroad
As the CityCube Berlin begins to gradually take shape the employees of the Congress division at Messe Berlin are working successfully to finalise the events schedule for 2014 and beyond. In 2014 the CityCube Berlin is now almost booked up. Immediately after opening in March the calendar will be packed: From 25 to 28 March the Congress of the German Society for Surgery will be taking place with more than 5,000 delegates taking part. On 9 April 2014 the annual general meeting of Daimler AG will be taking place in the CityCube.
From 18 to 23 May the new venue will host the World Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Taking as their slogan “Building Workers Power“, the representatives of 175 million employees from around the world will be meeting there to debate the key decisions for the future. Immediately preceding this event, from 11 to 16 May 2014, the DGB Congress will also be taking place here.
Other highlights in 2014 include the annual conference of the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC) from 5 to 9 July, the DGAI Congress for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care in the Capital, accompanied by a symposium on care issues (18 to 19 September), and the annual conference of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) from 18 to 22 October.
In the years ahead other events taking place in the CityCube Berlin will have an equally international dimension. Only recently, the team of Messe Berlin Conventions was notified by the European Academy of Neurology of its decision to hold a conference at this venue from 20 to 23 June 2015. Currently, bookings for the CityCube Berlin have already been taken for the year 2020.