Case studies

High baroque meets high tech: Smoke and heat extraction solutions in the Dresden Frauenkirche

The Frauenkirche in Dresden, reconstructed true to the original plans, was reopened in 2005 following more than ten years of construction work. GEZE installed a customised smoke and heat extraction system to suit both the historical structure and modern building standards.

Safety concept with modern window technology

Impressive architecture, now with a professional safety concept. Photo: MM Fotowerbung for GEZE GmbH

Impressive architecture, now with a professional safety concept.

MM Fotowerbung / GEZE GmbH

Since its destruction in a devastating bombing attack in February 1945, the ruins of the Dresden Frauenkirche have served as an anti-war memorial. The reconstruction of the church began in 1994 under the leadership of planning and engineering firm IPRO Dresden, and was completed on 30 October 2005 with a consecration ceremony.

The tailor-made smoke and heat extraction system by GEZE is a central preventive fire protection element in the rebuilt Frauenkirche, and fulfils the highest demands for personal and building protection.

Specialised smoke and heat extraction solution for emergency exit protection

Round baroque window with smoke and heat extraction system in the Dresden Frauenkirche. Photo: MM Fotowerbung for GEZE GmbH

Impressive baroque windows with an invisibly integrated smoke and heat extraction system.

MM Fotowerbung / GEZE GmbH

In addition to its famous dome, the new building is true to the original, with windows in very high and difficult to access areas. These proved to be the biggest technical challenge in installing a modern smoke and heat extraction system. During a fire, the system must ensure smoke, combustion gases and heat can dissipate in a controlled manner, allowing people to leave the church in an orderly fashion, and rescue operations to proceed unhindered.

Historic windows with tailor-made window drive

Half arched window in the Frauenkirche with smoke and heat extraction system. Photo: MM Fotowerbung for GEZE GmbH

GEZE E206-RWA electric linear drive on a semicircular arched window in the Frauenkirche.

MM Fotowerbung / GEZE GmbH

Modern smoke and heat extraction systems generally consist of at least three components:

  • an opening system, in this case the windows of the Frauenkirche
  • an emergency power supply control unit
  • a fire button

Specific technical adjustments were required to reconstruct the church in its original design as far as possible. Typically, smoke and heat extraction systems run on a 24 V working voltage. The smoke and heat extraction system drive on the high windows, however, could only be supplied with voltage through a long supply line. For aesthetic reasons, small line dimensions needed to be used, requiring only minimum recesses on the interior walls. A customised solution was in order. In coordination with the German Association for Technical Inspection (TÜV), the planning company opted for a well-proven GEZE smoke and heat extraction system that works on 230 V power. The windows in the upper part of the church were equipped with two GEZE E206 window drives each because of the weight of the bottom-hung and top-hung leaves. The window technology was included in a special construction whose design integrates discreetly into the building.

Reliable smoke extraction, even during a power failure

One key safety aspect that all smoke and heat extraction systems must fulfil is their ability to work independently of the power grid. 24 V systems ensure this using a rechargeable battery integrated into the smoke and heat extraction system emergency power supply control unit. Since the smoke and heat extraction system in the Frauenkirche used a 230 V variation, the GEZE E260 N 2/1 emergency power supply control unit was installed in a special version. The entire smoke and heat extraction system is connected to the on-site backup power unit to ensure grid-independent function in any situation. Overall, the Frauenkirche in Dresden is another successful example of how highly modern GEZE smoke and heat extraction systems can be integrated into historical buildings with specific requirements.

GEZE products in the Dresden Frauenkirche