First high-rise dynamited in Switzerland

Morven McLean
Morven McLean - [email protected]
First high-rise dynamited in Switzerland
The high-rise block dated from the 1960s. Photo: City of Aarau

A 12-storey tower block in Aarau came crashing down early on Friday morning after being dynamited by demolition experts.


It took 75 kilos of explosive to reduce the 5,000 tonne Sprecherhof concrete and steel construction to rubble, reported the Swiss news agency SDA.

The building, dating from the 1960s, was situated in the middle of a residential and commercial area between the train station and Aargau cantonal hospital.

It was the first time explosives had been used to bring down a high-rise in Switzerland, and the operation went according to plan.

The 45-metre high tower collapsed in a cloud of dust just after 2am.

The only problem was caused by curious onlookers getting too close to the scene of the action.

A party atmosphere had developed in the area surrounding the tower where hundreds of people had gathered and hot food and drinks were on sale, the report said.

The only damage reported was to a shop window some 20 metres away. This was a normal occurrence, said demolition expert Walter Weber.

Weber was happy with the work of his team. “The different parts of the building exploded in the right sequence and the building fell to the right side,” he said.

The dynamiting cost 1.5 million francs – less than a conventional demolition.

The building will be replaced by another high-rise.


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