Heavylift / Breakbulk
Multimodal cultural undertaking
The German forwarding enterprise Robert Kukla recently united two old heaps of scrap metal. A ship that used to take tourists out on a Bavarian lake is now set to become a café and theatre, perched on a disused railway bridge in Munich.
The age of steam has long gone, but the gentle giants of the waterways can still serve society today as a monument to an old technology – or as a cultural institution.
For around 70 years the Utting carried tourists on Lake Ammer, a recreational attraction around 40 km from Munich. After it was decommissioned the Utting avoided being scrapped thanks to plans to turn it into a café and theatre. The association Wannda, which has made a name for itself with a mobile circus, will set up a theatre and café in the Utting, which will be placed on a disused railway bridge. The German forwarder Robert Kukla, whose headquarters are not very far from the Utting’s new resting place, supported Wannda in the realisation of this ambitious undertaking.
The 40 m steamship was taken apart on the night of 22 February. The two parts were then transported by road over an approximately 50 km route to their destination in Munich. Taking the 120 t vessel apart and transporting it called for the deployment of divers for the very low work as well as cranes for the very high tasks. Over and above this the job needed two special vehicles too, one taking the top deck and the other the hull on board. To enable a crane to unload the two parts onto the disused railtracks at their destination, the route first had to be closed down in part, street-lights had to be taken down and some traffic lights had ti be re-set to allow the unit to pass.
Sustainable and symbolic
Knut Sander, the managing director of Kukla, which specialises in multimodal solutions, amongst other things, was so enthused by the idea of the new cultural project that he immediately agreed to support it, also financially. “These people didn’t think in boxes; rather, they were courageous enough to create what can almost be called a work of art, combining various modes of transport in an original, constructive and sustainable way.” Sander added that extraordinary concepts and ideas from the logistics, artistic and cultural fields “will always get a fair hearing” from his company, which was founded in 1941.
“This unique cultural project has kept a ship from being scrapped, imbued it with new life – and very nicely shown the significance of multimodal transport,” Sander closed.