Monday, 18 February 2013

Berlin Central Railway Station, Germany.

Berlin Central Station is one of the most spectacular architectural projects of the capital. After undergoing eleven years of construction, the station formerly known as the Lehrter Stadtbahnhof was reopened on 28 May 2006 as the largest and most modern connecting station in Europe.

There are two main levels for train traffic and three connection and business levels. However, it is interesting to note that the concept of a "cathedral of transport" was not quite able to be realised in accordance with the wishes of the architect Meinhard von Gerkan. For example, he had planned on having a vaulted roof but this had to give way to a flat roof. Furthermore, the glass roof above the upper rail system had to be reduced significantly.

Nevertheless, the station is delicate, spacious and full of light. The 321 metre long glass hall for rails running east to west is crossed by the 160 metre long and 40 metre wide concourse where rails are running north to south.

A sophisticated system of large openings in the ceilings at all levels allows for natural light to be let in so that it can even reach the lower tracks. The architecture places an emphasis on the character of the station as a traffic intersection. For the Hamburg-based architects Gerkan, Marg & Partner, the importance of the new Berlin Central Station consists in the fact that it serves as an interface in Europe and this point is the determining factor of their design.

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