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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Oscar-von-Miller Tower in Garching, Germany by Deubzer König + Rimmel Architects

March 5th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal


Because of the new development of the campus center, it is necessary to move the old Meteomast to a different location.

Approximately 50m high and now located at the south entrance to the research campus, the newly designed Oskar von Miller Tower should act as a visible symbol for the Technical University Munich and the science and research facilities located in Garching.

OVM Tower

  • ARCHITECT: Deubzer König + Rimmel Architects
  • NAME OF THE PROJECT: “Oskar-von-Miller Turm” (O-v.M Tower)
  • ADDRESS: Campus Garching, Ludwig-Prandtl Str.
    85749, Garching (near Munich)
  • CLIENT: Technische Universität München (Technical University Munich)
    Arcisstr. 21
    80333 Munich, GermanyRepresented by the State Building Authority Munich II
  • STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Barthel & Maus Beratende Ingenieure GmbH (consulting engineers)
  • Contractors: Alpine Bau (Concrete),
    Schlosserei Hackl (Steelworks, Facade)
  • AREAS: SITE AREA:   3600m2 , 60 x 60mBUILT AREA (at ground level): 16m x 10m  90,5m2
    TOTAL FLOOR SPACE: 392,5m2
    CUBIC CONTENT: 2381,5m3
  • TIMELINE: DATE OF DESIGN: 2006  (first sketches)
  • COMPLETION DATE:  19.07.2010 (opening)

  • PHOTOGRAPHER: Henning Koepke.

Use and function of the building

The meteorological institute has been performing climatic readings on the Garching campus since 1961. These are officially required for the safe operation of the TUM’s Neutron  Research Source (FRM II). The atmospheric variables relevant to the spread of pollutants are continually measured and sent to operator and authorities. Wind and temperature profile is the main priority. In addition to that, all measurements relevant to climatology and teaching are collected. This includes rainfall, air pressure, radiation, and certain meteorological data such as temperature, moisture levels, solar intensity and wind speed.

OVM Tower

It is not intended for public use. Temporary guided tours and Courses are planned.

Short description

As seen in the site map, the Oskar von Miller Tower has its oval ground plan aligned in east-west direction; two cubic bodies are inserted into the building from the south, the entrance on the ground floor with its two large sliding doors, above that the measuring box. This is for meteorologists to maintain the facility and evaluate the measurement results. Access is additionally possible via a spiral staircase on the east side.

Inerior of Tower

The weather tower consists of horizontally stacked glass rings, which are staggered by measurement levels (5, 10, 20, and 35m) with four booms pointing north, south, east, and west. The top measurement level is arranged vertically as a single measurement point.


The shells’ ground plan shape consists of the geometric addition of two ellipses.

In the west vertex of the buildings’ cubature contains the only geometric point which is consistently vertical. Apart from that, the rings continuously narrow from the bottom to the top.

Turning Inerior View

The instruments are fastened to the booms on sledges, so that they can be pulled into the inside of the tower for maintenance and testing.

The necessary length of the measurement booms was checked by using a model in the wind tunnel of the TU Munich and the institute for aerodynamics, thus guaranteeing that the cubature of the tower does not interfere with the climatic measurements due to aerodynamic turbulence.

Interior of Tower

Access to the various maintenance levels is provided via a lift in the west core.

Structure and Shell

The structure of the 50m high Oskar von Miller Tower consists of a terraced reinforced concrete core. This consists of a continuous main supporting element and a staggered core. The structure is completely closed, apart from doors and ventilation openings In the maintenance levels. It takes care of the vertical and horizontal bracing of the building. The cross-connection of the cores ensues over the maintenance levels and the joists positioned there.

Night View

The weight is transferred into the ground via a 1,8m thick concrete foundation plate.

The facade is hung onto a steel construction, which is in turn fastened to the vertical concrete elements and maintenance levels. This conception implies the textile idea of the function of a farthingale.

OVM Tower Night View

The outer skin of the facade is made out of translucent acrylic glass.

The classic construction of linesupport was abandoned to preserve the image of edgy stacked rings. Special point fixing was developed, which conveys a technoid aesthetic and minimize the horizontal joint gap

Plan of OVM Tower

The inner structure is subtly distinguishable from the outside through the acrylic class. The material of the shell allows the illumination of the building from the inside with at the same time the structure is visible.


The TUM logo is projected onto the shell with built-in LED-strips, A blue ticker shows current weather data and daily campus information is shown on ring 5.

Technical data

  • Eaves height 47 m, tower tip 62 m
  • Inner concrete core – raw with most simple surfaces
  • Façade support structure – Steel
  • Measuring box – Aluminium composite panels (Alucobond)
  • Hot bent facade glass (25 mm) out of acrylic glass, length up to 6,3 m, height up to 1,6 m (Plexiglas by Evonic industries)

Section of Tower

Co-workers: Jan Pietraszewski. Michael Schick, Julia Groß

Construction management: Gerstmeir Architekten, München

Photographer: Henning Köpke:

Contact Deubzer König + Rimmel Architects

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Category: Tower

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