Cuneratower Rhenen restoration Ralph Backer

Rhenen Cunera Church Tower Restoration

The 82-meter-tall Cunera church tower in the small town of Rhenen in the heart of the Netherlands was built between 1492 and 1531. Since then, it was restored on various occasions after fires and wars. In 2012, Rhenen’s town council commissioned Antea Group to lead another large-scale restoration project involving a team of building companies to ensure the tower would continue to be the town’s eye-catcher for another 50 years.

As it turned out, the restoration, which cost over five million euros, was badly needed: erosion regularly caused bricks to come loose, with several even coming down. In November of 2017, after the Cunera church tower had been in scaffolding for four years, the restoration project was completed on budget and on schedule.

Understanding

Restoring a historic building requires tight management and a comprehensive risk analysis to identify possible unforeseen extra work and any additional costs involved at an early stage. In putting together a team for this project, careful choices were made to achieve the perfect balance between traditional workmanship and innovation.

Improving

This restoration project was completed in phases, working from the top down. The town’s residents could therefore visibly see the tower being revived step by step. The 18 different kinds of natural stone, wooden elements and ring armature were restored using entirely authentic methods. The floodlighting was improved significantly and made sustainable by using LED lights with a range of different color schemes.