Dresden Station Redevelopment


Completed in 1898, Dresden’s main railway terminus is one the most impressive latenineteenth-century railway stations in Europe. Linking Dresden with Berlin and Prague, 
the railway played a significant role in the city’s industrial and economic growth. 
However, during the Second World War, along with much of the old city, the station 
was severely damaged in Allied bombing raids. Insensitive repair work after the war 
was compounded by poor maintenance, the building finally reaching a state where 
remedial conservation was required.  
The starting point was to strip away additions and alterations made to the building over 
the last sixty years in order to restore the integrity of the original design. Circulation 
within and through the station has been rationalised. This includes pulling back the 
central tracks to create an open space at the heart of the building which can be used 
as a market place, or for cultural events. Externally, the most striking new element is 
the glass dome above the main circulation crossing. The approach followed here is 
similar to that explored at the Reichstag. Original surfaces have been exposed 
wherever possible, but there has been no attempt to recreate old forms or replace lost 
ornament: new and old are clearly articulated. 
By far the largest new element is the 30,000-square-metre covering to the roof of the 
train shed. Originally the roof was partially glazed, but after the war it was boarded 
over. The station’s elaborate wrought iron structure has now been restored and 
sheathed in a translucent skin of Teflon-coated glass fibre. If required, this canopy can 
be extended to provide cover for international high-speed trains (ICE), which are twice 
the length of the old platforms. The new roof transmits 13 per cent of daylight, which 
significantly reduces the need for artificial lighting. At night, light is reflected off the 
underside of the canopy, creating an even wash throughout the station, while from 
outside the whole structure radiates an ethereal silvery glow. 
description by architects


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