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The world’s first Ferris-wheel skyscraper

Photo: COWI

​The world's first Ferris-wheel skyscraper is ready to take you for a ride.

​In the Georgian city of Batumi, the first ever skyscraper with an integrated Ferris wheel has now been completed.

Being first at something is a sure way to the history books, and in the Georgian city of Batumi, on the shore of the Black Sea, a new page has been added to history books. On the outside of the Technical University of Batumi’s newly built tower, at an altitude of 100 metres, sits a Ferris wheel with eight air-conditioned cabins that can hold up to 40 people. The skyscraper is the first of its kind in the world.

“This is actually a great one-company story. It started out as a project for the Bahrain-Lithuania offices, and ended up as a COWI Bahrain-Lithuania-Denmark project. Our task was to conduct a full structural design review of the entire tower,” says Technical Director Jens Fussing.

Giant on clay feet

The city of Batumi is located in a moderate seismic zone, and the underground is rich on clay. This presented a great challenge for the design and construction of the tower.
“When an earthquake hits an area with this specific clay underground, the clay acts just like liquid, and it’s not hard to imagine what that will do to a skyscraper,” says Fussing.
Even though COWI was third-party reviewer and inspector and was not in charge of securing the tower against earthquakes, the experience of working alongside other experts was a great learning experience for the COWI team.
“We saw how the German contractors, who are earthquake experts, secured the foundation of the building by strengthening the underground against liquefaction by using soil improvement techniques. It was just incredibly exciting to watch and learn from them,” says Fussing.

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016