[Job Story] Liebherr Cranes at Work in Barcelona to Complete Construction of the Sagrada Família

The Liebherr 710 HC-L and 125 HC-L luffing jib cranes have been selected for the final phase of the Sagrada Família construction project, with the primary task being the completion of the Tower of Jesus Christ, the temple’s main tower set to reach 172 meters in height. Their collapsibility and adaptability to site requirements were decisive factors in the Sagrada Família’s decision to select this equipment.

Official delivery of the Liebherr 710 HC-L luffing jib crane. From left to right: Fernando Villa, Sagrada Familia; Antonio Cerezo, Grúas Cerezo; Tobias Böhler, Liebherr Ibérica; Daniel Morales, Sagrada Familia; Miguel Cerezo, Grúas Cerezo and Roberto Insausti, Liebherr Ibérica. (Image source: Liebherr)

“The Temple of the Sagrada Família will represent the future of modern Catalonia,” this is how the architect Antonio Gaudí described his masterpiece, which began construction in 1882 in Barcelona. 2024 will be a significant year for this architectural feat, as the Liebherr 710 HC-L 32-64 Litronic and 125 HC-L luffing jib cranes will begin their work on completing the basilica.

“The construction department of the Sagrada Família chose these cranes for two main reasons: firstly, their folding design minimizes the impact on surrounding buildings, and secondly, their adaptability to the area’s specific requirements.”

explained Fernando Villa, director of construction and technology at the Sagrada Família.

(Image source: Liebherr)

“Liebherr is a global leader in the tower crane sector, and we are experts in special projects. Our engineering department, known as Tower Crane Solutions, comprises qualified professionals with many years of experience who plan the manoeuvres according to the specific needs of each project.”

said Roberto Insausti, commercial director of the tower crane and mobile construction crane division at Liebherr Ibérica.

(Image source: Liebherr)

The Liebherr 710 HC-L 32-64 Litronic luffing jib crane of the Sagrada Família will be responsible for completing the Tower of Jesus Christ, the temple’s main tower, which is currently standing at 135 meters high. The Sagrada Família required a crane with a high lifting capacity; this equipment has a maximum lifting capacity of 64 tonnes and a sufficient radius of 55 meters, to cover the highest parts of the construction. The Liebherr 125 HC-L crane, meanwhile, will be working on the Chapel of the Assumption and the adjacent cloisters.


Main project challenges

“A major challenge for this project was to develop a solution for our largest luffing jib crane, the Liebherr 710 HC-L 32-64 Litronic, which could be erected at a height of approximately 54 meters and comply with the highest safety requirements. The crane then had to be brought to its final height and anchored to the Tower of Jesus Christ at a height of approximately 130 meters.”

said Jochen Wille, Project Manager at Liebherr Tower Crane Solutions (TCS).

(Image source: Liebherr)

A special bracing structure, measuring 20 meters long, 10 meters wide and weighing 27 tonnes, had to be designed and manufactured specifically for this phase.

The assembly of the Liebherr 710 HC-L and 125 HC-L luffing jib cranes required extensive planning due to the stringent safety requirements and weather conditions. The erection, especially the telescoping, could only proceed under specific wind speeds. Moreover, the Sagrada Família’s location in the heart of Barcelona limits the availability of spacious work areas for manoeuvres, necessitating meticulous planning and detailed operations. Furthermore, the installation process faced a constant influx of tourists to this globally renowned site. As a result, the assembly of the Liebherr luffing jib cranes had to be completed swiftly, with minimal disruption to the cathedral’s construction work and the daily flow of visitors.

In this project, Grúas Cerezo, the official distributor of Liebherr tower cranes, played a key role and will continue to do so, providing support as a local distributor, offering technical-legal advice, equipment assembly, as well as predictive and corrective maintenance.

(Image source: Liebherr)

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