Tall Oscar

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tall Oscar
Tall Oscar
Basic data
Place: Hagen , North Rhine-Westphalia
Construction time : August 1, 1972 - November 1975
Opening: November 29, 1975
Abort : March 7, 2004
Status : demolished (blown up)
Architectural style : International style
Architect : Karl-Heinz Zernikow
Use / legal
Usage : offices
Owner : Sparkasse Hagen
Technical specifications
Height : 98 m
Height to the top: 101 m
Height to the roof: 98 m
Top floor: approx. 96 m
Depth: from the front approx. 16.5 m
Floors : 22 (including 2 basement floors)
Elevators : 3
Usable area : approx. 12,634 m²
Enclosed space : 63,000 m³
Building material : Structure: steel ;
Facade: glass, aluminum
Building-costs: approx. 75 million German marks

Long Oskar was the nickname given by the citizens of the city of Hagen ( North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany) to the 98 meter high office tower of the Sparkasse Hagen . The building was located in the city center of Hagen and was considered a landmark of the region. The skyscraper was inaugurated on November 29, 1975, its nickname is probably an allusion to the then Sparkasse director Oskar Specht .


The architect of the building is Karl-Heinz Zernikow from Hagen. Construction began on August 1, 1972 and was completed on November 29, 1975. The built-up area was 634 m², the usable area 12,634 m² (office space: 7,621 m²). The building was 98 m high, 37.4 m long and 18.6 m wide. The facade consisted of a curtain-type aluminum construction loaded with asbestos-containing building materials with an area of ​​approx. 10,300 m². The enclosed space of the high-rise was approx. 64,700 m³. A static peculiarity was the continuous reinforced concrete slab which, in connection with the elevator shafts, served to horizontally stiffen the building: 102 m long, 9 m wide and up to 1.82 m thick.

The Sparkasse high-rise had 22 floors, two of which are in the basement. In the course of time the floor occupancy was changed again and again through organizational measures. The city library, which was initially located on the eighth floor, later moved its operations to another building.

The offices were designed as functional open-plan offices with air conditioning and uniform lighting. Contemporary and functional furnishings and modern floor kitchens should ensure the greatest possible efficiency. In addition, separate meeting rooms were set up so that individual discussions with credit customers could not be disturbed. There were break rooms with kitchens, hot water devices and drinks machines on every floor. Good work should also be created through the arrangement of the furniture, large planters, friendly colors and numerous works of art.

In 1986 the skyscraper was renovated. This included removing the wooden paneling in the escape staircase on the instructions of the fire brigade, as well as re-insulating the roof. Furthermore, after moving in at the end of 1975, the employees complained that the air in the open-plan offices was bad. Several employees suffered a circulatory collapse. The fault was the ventilation system, which mostly only circulated the used room air. In 1986 the ventilation system was also renovated.


There was a porter's lodge in the foyer, which was manned around the clock. Four employees regularly alternated between early and night shifts. The entire property was monitored and controlled from here. The switchboard through which all calls were transferred was also located there.

The foyer was also used as a venue; In the tradition of the Hagen Impulse , numerous arts and crafts exhibitions took place there. The children's theater performances ( potato cake theater ) in the foyer on World Savings Day were also very popular and were regularly very well attended on this occasion.

top, roof

The crane on the skyscraper, first painted green, later painted white, was used to lift heavy components and machines such as B. to transport elevator and refrigeration machines to the corresponding floor. In addition, heavy materials for external technology were transported on the shell.

The access system for the hovering gondola of the window cleaner was moved by the crane to the respective side of the high-rise building to be cleaned. In addition to the crane, a Telekom radio station and a wind direction display were also installed.

Safety devices

All essential technical equipment could be monitored from a control panel. This made it possible to identify and correct a defect in good time. There were connections for extinguishing water on every floor, and automatic fire extinguishing systems based on the sprinkler system ensured the necessary fire safety. Around 80 sprinklers were installed on each floor. Smoke alarms, safety staircases and escape balconies complemented the system of safety precautions.

In the event of a power failure, an emergency power generator supplied all functionally important parts such as sprinkler systems, freight elevator, ventilation and emergency lighting without any noticeable interruption.

Car switch

The car counter was another service provided by the Sparkasse Hagen. Until the Long Oscar was demolished, customers could make deposits and withdrawals and all other banking transactions from their car here within the opening hours of the Sparkasse. Via a separate lane through Grashofstraße between the Lange Oskar, the legal office and the city office, the customer took his car directly to the car counter , an approx. Six square meter room occupied by an employee from customer service.

Renovation plans at the turn of the millennium

In addition to a new facade, which would have had significantly better thermal insulation values ​​than the facade from 1975, the air conditioning would also have had to be renewed. The Sparkasse Hagen's air conditioning system at that time was also operated with CFC coolant , which was no longer available on the market. The remaining useful life with the existing coolant inventory was therefore limited.

The renovation measures for the facade, stairwell, air conditioning and heating, in addition to additional expenditure for various individual measures (such as renewing the lighting, carpeting, changes to the sprinkler system and the electrical distribution), led to a renovation effort of approx. 42 million DM; The costs per square meter would have been DM 5,600. The costs for a new building would only have been DM 3,500 per square meter. Even if all these measures had been carried out, the Sparkasse high-rise would never have achieved the profitability of a new building. This result, determined by an independent appraiser, was also surprising for the Sparkasse in its clarity.

In addition, the city of Hagen no longer wanted to cover its space requirements by renting office space. For Tall Oskar, this would have meant that around a third of the rooms would have been empty. In view of the renovation costs, this office space could hardly have been rented at cost-covering prices. The floor plan of the storeys also no longer met the requirements for office space in the 21st century. The economic reasons for a new building were so strong that the fact that the Lange Oskar was a prominent feature in the appearance of the city was not a sufficient argument for the maintenance and renovation of the high-rise.

Demolition and demolition in 2004

Due to leaks in the facade, water penetrated, which softened the insulation. A renovation of the facade would also have resulted in the renovation of the air conditioning system and the addition or installation of a second staircase for fire protection reasons. The renovation costs of 42 million DM were offset by demolition costs of approx. 3.8 million euros and new construction costs of 16.8 million euros, so that the decision was made to demolish and rebuild.

On March 7, 2004 at 10:53 am, this building was laid down in the largest blasting of a high-rise building in Europe to date, after a very extensive gutting and pollution control and after conventional dismantling of the outbuildings ( town house ) with approx. 56,500 m³ of enclosed space . The demolition masters had attached and detonated 1,450 charges with a total mass of 250 kg on the building in such a way that the entire high-rise (weight: 26,000 tons of concrete and steel ) initially folded (so-called tilting-collapse detonation ) and then into a designated one Laying a 55 m long fall bed without damaging neighboring buildings.

The successful demolition is considered a masterpiece of the planning, demolition and blasting companies from North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia . Around 40,000 viewers watched the event, which was broadcast live nationwide on WDR television .

For the safety of residents and spectators, the area around the building was divided into two zones, in which nobody was allowed to be outside. Zone I with a radius of 140 meters was fully evacuated in the early morning. In Zone II with a radius of 140 to 200 meters, residents were only allowed to stay in the rear rooms. To protect the façades from flying stones and splinters, the surrounding buildings were covered with protective scaffolding and a curtain made of textile fleece.

The city took the internationally acclaimed event as an opportunity for a colorful supporting program. Among other things, there was the possibility of an overnight stay with a "blasting breakfast". The evening before, there was live music in 15 bars in the city center. One person even tried to auction off a balcony space on Ebay .

Even after the demolition, this building had not lost its attraction. As after the fall of the Berlin Wall , “rubble tourists” tried to secure a piece of the building for themselves.

On August 29, 2014, a book about the building complex was published.


Dietmar Brendel and Detlef Vollmar: Beloved, Hated , Blasted : Rise and Fall of the “ Tall Oskar” , Ardenkuverlag, Hagen 2014, ISBN 978-3-942184-35-9


See also

Web links

Coordinates: 51 ° 21 ′ 35 ″  N , 7 ° 28 ′ 18 ″  E