Dresden: protecting the historic heart of the city
August 2002: Dresden experienced its “flood of the century” – the worst flooding in its history. The River Elbe invaded parts of the city centre, and the water level reached an all-time high of 9.4 meters. The waters surged downstream at a rate of over 4,500 meters per second. The Semperoper (opera house) alone suffered damage to the tune of 27 million.
As a consequence of the flood disaster, Dresden is reinforcing its flood protection in the areas at risk. Extensive building work was carried out between 2006 and 2011.
Demountable flood protection – smart and safe.
Besides the erection of permanent flood defences, the authorities in Dresden also decided to provide demountable solutions to protect the central part of the old town and the historic district. They chose the thyssenkrupp stop log system from thyssenkrupp Infrostructure. Following a successful demonstration, the quality and functionality of the system was quite obvious to the city’s architects and planners.
As the old town contains many of Dresden’s most important attractions, e.g. Zwinger, Frauenkirche, the authorities have incorporated the defence measures as carefully and discreetly as possible into the existing cityscape. In this sense, the demountable thyssenkrupp stop log system proved to be the ideal complement on the banks of the River Elbe. The thyssenkrupp stop log system is mounted on a sandstone-clad reinforced concrete wall and will protect the city against water levels up to 9.24 meters.
Special importance was attached to the exposed anchor plates when designing this demountable flood defence system. The plates have a glass granulate finish which upgrades the sandstone cladding. In the event of a flood, the aluminium demountable system is quickly mounted on these anchor plates.
A bespoke flood defence system.
To suit the given local conditions, additional stop logs, stop panels, posts and connectors were developed to expand the thyssenkrupp system. Pedestrian openings and outdoor staircases have been secured as well. The result is adequate protection against even extreme water levels.
In a subsequent phase, a demountable flood defence system is to be set up to form a controlled overflow. If the protective height of 9.24 meters should prove insufficient and a higher surge of floodwater approaches Dresden, the old town will be evacuated before carrying out controlled flooding. High-quality flood defences such as the demountable thyssenkrupp stop log system form the foundation for responsible urban planning that takes climate changes, aesthetics and maximum safety seriously and tries to harmonise all three.