In the past decade, KCI has been involved in the design and engineering of over 15 Observation Wheels. In terms of design and engineering, KCI can call itself a pioneer and global market leader. KCI’s track record in these large and prestigious Observation Wheels remains unparalleled in the world. Two of the largest wheels in the world, which are currently under construction, have been designed and engineered by KCI.

For many wheels all around the world, KCI has created the Concept Design. Often in a subsequent phase, KCI was asked to carry out the Basic and Detailed Design. For the wheels that have been actually built, KCI has provided fabrication support and installation management assistance on several occasions. At KCI we are very flexible and can set up on-site offices very quickly to provide our clients with the best support during project execution.


Own generic observation wheel design – own spokeless wheel design - innovative bearing design - ingenious cable designs- drive & control systems - fatigue studies - analyses of wind load - feasibility studies - seismic analysis -- fabrication specifications - welding specifications - advice for non-destructive testing - painting/corrosion protection specifications – temperature analyses – specification for castings

KCI track record Observation Wheels
Concept Design
• Beijing Great Wheel
• Dubai Land Wheel
• Great Berlin Wheel
• Great Orlando Wheel
• Qingdao Wheel
• Ain Dubai

Added value through total design solutions
Detailed Design
• Dubai Land Wheel
• Great Berlin Wheel
• New York Wheel
• Ain Dubai

Independent Technical
Review & Consultancy
• Singapore Flyer
• Melbourne Star
• Las Vegas High Roller

World’s largest observation wheel in Dubai

Early 2013 KCI developed the Concept Design for world’s biggest Observation wheel - Ain Dubai

The concept development of this 200+ meters structure was already pushing the limits of what is technically feasible. Quickly we found ourselves stretching the limits towards the scientific area of structural design. The Concept Design was soon followed by the Basic and Detailed Design for the complete wheel structure. In 2015 interfacing with the installation & erection and the fabrication contractor on site in Dubai became a crucial part of KCI’s scope. The design had to be managed continuously to ensure that fabrication, erection and installation would stay possible of this giant wheel of which size and dimensions cannot be underestimated.

KCI also performed Detailed Analyses for all installation and erection stages to ensure a thorough and safe operation of each step. Detailed Design for all temporary
steel required for the installation and erection phases was also part of our scope.

Phase of Development
Concept, Basic & Detailed Design, Installation Engineering

Year of Project


KCI's core competences in Ain Dubai design

Structural & Mechanical Design
• Concept Design
• Basic Design
• Detailed Design

Environmental Impact
• Wind Analyses of Structure (ViV)
• Seismic Analyses of Structure
• Thermal Analyses

Installation & Erection Engineering
• Installation & Removal Method Development
• Installation & Removal Procedures
• Installation & Removal Analyses
• Verification of Main Structure
• Detailed Design of Temporary Steel

Site Engineering & Support
• Engineering Support
• Site Support during Fabrication
• Site Support during Installation & Erection

Cleaning & Maintainability Design
• Method Development
• Procedures Development
• Design of Equipment & Provisions
• Equipment Specifications

Evacuation Strategy & Design
• Procedures Development
• Design of Equipment & Provisions
• Equipment Specifications

Interface & Design Management
• Engineering & Design Interfaces
• Functional Interfaces of Wheel
• Operational Interfaces of Wheel
• Cleaning & Maintenance Interfaces

Technical Review & Consultancy
• Concept Verication
• Detailed Design Review
• Review of Engineering & Interface Documents

Wind Sword

For the city of Hoofddorp, KCI designed a Wind Sword. A little different than an Observation Wheel but certainly a landmark!

The Wind Sword is 33m high and is illuminated at night like a Star Wars sign, symbolising the battle which was fought in this location between the Dutch and the Spanish in 1573 when this area was still a sea. The Wind Sword will move in the wind and will indicate both wind speed and direction.

The technical challenges of this unique object were to predict the dynamic response of the sword in wind gusts and tune this behaviour to the ideas of the architect, while keeping the design as simple as possible and maintenance friendly.

Phase of Development
Concept and Detailed Design

Year of Project
2014 - 2015


Observation Tower

From the city of Venice, KCI received the assignment to design an Observation Tower without polluting the skyline.

KCI came up with an Observation Tower of which the hydraulic system enables the tower to sink into the ground.

Phase of Development
Concept Design

Year of Project


Marc Groenendijk
Managing Director / Manager Wheels

Tel.: +31 (0)10 427 0399
Email: wheels@kci.nl