The Tropical Islands Dome
Facts and figures
The Tropical Islands Dome is gigantic. In fact, it is one of the world´s largest self-supporting halls in the world: 360 metres long, 210 metres wide and an incredible 107 metres high.
That is big enough to fit the Statue of Liberty in standing up and the Eiffel Tower lying on its side. The Tropical Islands Dome covers an area of 66,000 m², the size of eight football fields. And it is high enough to fit in the whole of Berlin's Potsdamer Platz, with all its skyscrapers.
The enormous dome was originally built as an airship hangar for the German company CargoLifter AG. The steel barrel-bowl construction was made to measure for the production and operation of heavy lift airship, and is optimized for volume and aerodynamic form. Built by a subsidiary of Siemens, SIAT, the building's giant dimensions posed an architectural challenge. The roof's surface measures 70,000 m² and is able to withstand the significant mass of rain and snow that falls on it. The heating system is able to maintain constant temperatures in the over 5 million m³ of air. The building was constructed using almost 14,000 tons of steel.
Two massive shell-like doors, each consisting of six moveable segments, are designed to allow the airship in and out of the hangar. The doors each weigh 600 tons and take 20 minutes to open or close. They are no longer in use.
Despite its size, the giant edifice is actually quite lightweight. The steel construction supports an arched membrane roof. The southern section of this has been replaced with a special foil roof that allows ultraviolet light to penetrate the interior, making it possible to get a natural tan while staying at Tropical Islands.
|The site is built as a military airfield for the Luftwaffe's Brand-Guben Pilot Training School. Towards the end of the Second World War, the airfield is used by the transport air force in preparation for air-land operations. After 1943/44 it also serves as an alternative airfield for the fighter arm of the Luftwaffe. In Spring 1945, it is involved in operations by the front air units of the Wehrmacht.|
|The Soviet Army occupies the airfield and one of the first and largest military airports in the German Democratic Republic is created. In addition to its function as a military airport, the site also serves as an airport for state visits from the former USSR. On October 17, 1963, a Russian Tupolev airliner lands carrying the cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova and Yuri Gagarin.|
|The site is managed by the Federal State of Brandenburg. Waste, such as kerosene tanks and abandoned ammunition, are cleared from the site.|
|The site is purchased from the Federal State of Brandenburg and various former owners by the company CargoLifter AG. The company's plan is to turn the former military airfield into a modern, peaceful location for lighter-than-air technology.|
|In summer 2002, CargoLifter AG announces insolvency.|
|The Malaysian consortium PLC/Colin Au buys the site and creates the Tropical Islands resort in the former airship hangar.|
Tropical climate with the latest technology
At Tropical Islands, the air temperature is 25°C and humidity a pleasant 40 - 60%, perfect conditions for plants from all over the world. There is also under-floor heating in the Lagoon and the Tropical Sea area, so visitors do not get cold feet.
A complex climate control and irrigation system guarantees that the various temperature zones are maintained in the Dome.
The indirect lighting system provides sufficient light in the Dome, even in the middle of winter. The light and heat create perfect conditions for our plants, and visitors can get a natural tan.
The 7,000 m³ of water in the Tropical Sea (28°C) and Lagoon (32°C) are cleaned using the latest ozone filter technology. This makes the water quality equivalent to that of drinking water. The pools themselves are constructed of stainless steel for optimum hygiene. The water has a maximum depth of 1.35 metres.