The Towers from all Angles

Icon: The Towers

At Bienne, the symbol of Power is quite weighty: 350 tons! That’s how much the three Towers of the Arteplage weigh, the icons of the site. It took almost a month to erect them, piece by piece, screw by screw. A meticulous job with an impressive result.

Tall and slender, they sit enthroned majestically on the platform at Bienne. The three Towers have ideal dimensions: respective heights of 38.00, 42.70 and 35.00 metres, with a cross section of 100 square metres in the case of the first two and 400 for the largest. In their guise as top models, they conceal their hand well: they each weigh 120 tons!

A detailed construction

Their assembly was not made in a single operation. The first two towers are made of 12 modules, the third of 24. The frames for these modules, with PVC tops, were manufactured in Austria. The membrane, a fine grill also of PVC was made in Germany. And the whole was assembled at Cornaux, in the Canton of Neuchâtel! Each module weighs between 8 to18 tons, and resists a pressure of 160kg/m2. The sheet plates were then transported by boat to the Arteplage Biel-Bienne. Finally the sheets had to be screwed together, which was not at all easy, given the angle of each storey!

Solid foundations

Full of charm when viewed from the outside, the three Towers are equally so on the inside. One of them houses a stairway and a lift, the round one – also called the Klangturm (Sound Tower) - loudspeakers, relaying music with strange tones. Each tower stands on four feet, withstanding a pressure of 200 tons. And each of these foundations are composed of four feet 50 metres long, directly anchored in the lake. Plenty to support the impressive stature of these three symbols of Power!

Photos: © Michel Jaussi