Richtfest for ESO Headquarters Extension

Roof and shell of building completed

29 November 2012

In recent months, ESO’s headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany, have been expanding. Construction of the extension began on 1 January 2012 and the foundation stone was laid on 11 June (ann12044). With the completion of the outer shell of this new building, it is now time for the Richtfest — a German name for a traditional ceremony known as topping out in other countries. The Richtfest was celebrated today at 15:00, and is a way of thanking the construction team for its successful work.

This ceremony takes place when the outer structure and roof of a building has been put into place, and it is a chance for both the construction team and the future occupants to celebrate the current progress, and to hope for future luck with the building. Typically, the roof — the highest point on the building — is decorated and topped with a tree, and everyone involved in the build celebrates in typical German style — with beer!

On ESO’s side the ceremony was attended by the Director General, Tim de Zeeuw and the Head of Administration, Patrick Geeraert. BAM Deutschland AG, the firm constructing the building, was represented by Albrecht Häberle, a member of the management board, and the architects Auer+Weber+Assoziierte were represented by Philipp Auer. A total of around 150 people joined the festivities despite the very wintery weather.

The new office building, designed by architects Auer+Weber+Assoziierte and connected to the current headquarters by a bridge, will enable ESO to house all its staff in Garching under one roof and replace the temporary offices that are currently in use. More information about the extension is available here: eso1215.


Christoph Haupt
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6310

Richard Hook
ESO, La Silla, Paranal, E-ELT & Survey Telescopes Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
Cell: +49 151 1537 3591

About the Announcement



Richtfest marks successful progress with ESO Extension building
Richtfest marks successful progress with ESO Extension building