The Heavy Load Bearing Body (Schwergewichtskörper) or Building T (its official name) had been designed to simulate the high pressure of weight an arch would cause. The „Arch of Triumph“ was a supposed part of the redesign of Berlin to „Worldcapital Germania“ by Hitler and his chief architect Albert Speer. The Arch was planned as part of the North-South Axis.
As Berlin is geologically a sandy and marshy landscape, engineers had to investigate whether the ground would withstand the high pressure of the colossal 384 foot high, and 558 foot wide arch.
The planning for Building T was completed in 1939. Until 1941 the structure was erected by the company of Dyckerhoff and Widemann for 400 000 Reichsmark. French men under Forced Labor had to do the excruciating work.
The main body of Building T is made of solid concrete and has a diameter of 69 feet. It is 59 feet into the ground and rises 46 feet high. Its 12 650 tons of concrete rest on 1000 square feet.
Inside the body, measuring devices were placed to register any shifting of the building. A platform and corresponding holes in the Heavy Load Body are hints of optical measuring devices once installed there.
After completion of measurements the entire structure was to be integrated into road construction over its top.
After World War II it was impossible to blow up Building T, because the explosives needed to destroy the structure would have also destroyed the close by railway tracks and residential buildings.
The imposing structure is a relic from a time of insane megalomania in the Third Reich. It’s definitely worth a short visit.
Guided tours are available. If interested, please contact us ahead of time.
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