Fast and safe climbing: Roche Tower in Basel

Project: Roche Tower, Basel

Contractor (and Architects): Marti AG Bauunternehmung

MEVA Systems: Automatic climbing MAC, slab formwork MevaDec, wall formwork AluStar

Formwork Engineering:  MEVA Formwork Systems, Haiterbach, Germany and Seon, Switzerland

© Herzog & DeMeuron
© Herzog & DeMeuron
© Herzog & DeMeuron


Hydraulic Automatic Climbing on the Roche Tower in Basel

Fast and Safe Climbing

The tower “Bau 1” will be the new main entrance to Roche’s headquarters in Basel. It is being built by Switzerland’s leading construction company, Marti AG. When completed, the tower will be 178 m high. It will have overtaken the Zürich Prime Towers (126 m) as the highest building in Switzerland.

The tower has passed the 130 m mark. Every 8th day another level is added until there will be 41 storeys with
space for 2,000 employees. The building was designed by the architects Herzog and de Meuron from Basel.

Safety is a key issue with Roche. Only trained, qualified staff are permitted to enter the construction site. Safety
controllers are present constantly to check the adherence to strict safety regulations.

The tower is being climbed using MEVA‘s automatic hydraulic system MAC. With its completely closed platform it provides a safe working environment even at great heights. The Roche tower‘s tapering geometry was the foremost challenge for the formwork engineers.

The lifting process is very gentle and smooth, so that the workers hardly notice it at all. The site is located in the middle of Basel city and allows very little space. This is why everything has to be delivered pre-assembled.

Furthermore, the construction site is accessible from one road only, with the result that the climbing units must be brought to their location directly from the truck. For that to happen safely and quickly, MEVA engineers developed a special articulated lifting arm. It enables the unit to be lifted into a vertical position and then be flown to its destination with a single crane lift.

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