Designing a structure for a project carried out at a height of over 40 metres for a duration of 36 months

Once the work is completed, the scaffolding is removed without a trace. It is an essential element of a project’s success. Designing the structure for the Royal Chapel was always going to be a complex undertaking which had to allow all the different tasks to run smoothly over a period of at least 36 months.
A real technical challenge, the scaffolding took five months to erect at a height of over 45 metres.
Take a step behind the scenes to discover more about it.

4,000 tonnes

Total weight of the scaffolding. It has to be spread around the monument, without resting on the facades which must remain accessible for the craftsmen to work on.

45 metres

Height of the structure at its most elevated point

4,700 m²

Surface of the scaffolding allowing the craftsmen to move all around the facades.

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Scaffolding : a work platform adapted to every phase of the project

Numerous factors determine the structure and form of scaffolding, and there are even more than usual for the Chapel, whose roof had to be removed. The scaffolding also had to be able to adapt to the tasks of the different professionals working on the building (carpenters, roofers, glassmakers, gilders, sculptors etc.) and guarantee their safety. It had to have sufficient load-bearing capacity to be able to support the heavy parts to be removed (stone and bronze sculptures, beams etc.) Above all, it could not rest on the facades and had to leave space to allow the roofers and masons to work and to facilitate access to the framework. 

The plan for the scaffolding was created by a design office. Although it was possible for a few adjustments to be made during the assembly phase, the plans could leave nothing to chance. 
It took no less than 5 months to erect the structure. The different parts of the scaffolding were assembled piece by piece and mostly by hand until the required height of 45 metres was reached. 

The main stages

Design and planning

Designing a plan for scaffolding of this kind meant that multiple factors had to be taken into account to facilitate the work of the other professionals and guarantee their safety, without jeopardizing the integrity of the building.

— Samuel Jarry - Design Office Engineer

Assembling the scaffolding

Turning something that seems simple on paper into something real can sometimes entail complex air-borne manoeuvres several metres above the ground. Each new element constitutes a potential challenge.

— Cyprien Kasang - Head Assembler