Dresden Station Redevelopment, Architecture, Architects, Photos, Design, Award

Dresden Station : Architecture

Station Building in Saxony, Germany by Foster + Partners, Architects

25 Sep 2007

Dresden Station Building

Dresden Station Redevelopment, Dresden, Germany
Date of renewal: 2006
Architect: Foster + Partners

Dresden Station Building Redevelopment
photograph by Foster + Partners © Nigel Young

Foster + Partners are masters of the one-liner. With some of the practice’s buildings you are left wanting some greater complexity or richness, but in the case of the restoration of the Dresden Hauptbahnhof, one of the most impressive late nineteenth century railway stations, the key move is of an apparent simplicity one which belies a complexity that is both surprising and highly effective.

Dresden Station Building Renewal
Dresden Station Redevelopment, Dresden, Germany by Foster + Partners © Nigel Young

Although not totally destroyed by allied bombing during the infamous Dresden Raids, the station was badly damaged and suffered further from unsympathetic repair and alterations. It is symbolically appropriate that the new work should have been designed by a British practice.

Foster + Partners won the competition on the strength of their proposal to re-roof the damaged late nineteenth century train shed with a lightweight fabric roof instead of reproducing the heavy timber and glass roof that had existed previously. This allowed a light touch to the repair of the steelwork, as well as providing 13% more natural light. However, it is the aesthetic effect that is chiefly remarkable, both for the fine quality of the diffused light through the white fabric roof and for its formal qualities.

Instead of the parallel linear roofs and gutters of the original roof, the new fabric roof is pulled tightly down into the springing points of the arches in alternate bays, forming a fan vault somewhat reminiscent of that of King’s College Chapel. From above the roof is even more extraordinary, like a tent or a hilly landscape pierced with funnels down which the rainwater disappears.

Dresden Station Building roof Foster + Partners
Dresden Station Redevelopment (3), Dresden, Germany by Foster + Partners © Nigel Young

The treatment of the flanking courts, which have been re-glazed and stripped of plaster to reveal the texture of the brick walls are successful. The decisions about the removal of some of the later alterations to the front elevation have also been nicely judged, restoring the essential architectural elements of the masonry to the windows and turrets while omitting the highly ornamental adornments that can be seen on pre-war photographs of the station. The people of Dresden are highly appreciative of the work that has been carried out.

Dresden Station Redevelopment – Building Information

Architect: Foster + Partners
Client: Deutsche Bahn AG
Contractor: Station & Service AG
Structural engineer: Buro Happold, Schmitt Stumpf Frühauf & Partner
Mechanical and electrical engineers: Schmidt Reuter & Partner, Zibell Willner & Partner
QS: BAL GmbH, Schmitt Stumpf Frühauf & Partner
Project management: AYH Homola GmbH & Co. KG, Kaiser Baucontroll
Historic buildings advisor: adb
Lighting consultant: Speirs and Major Associates
Contract Value: £99m
Date of completion: Nov 2006
Gross internal area: 30,000 sqm

Dresden Station Redevelopmen images / information – Stirling Prize 2007 Shortlist info from RIBA 2007

Dresden Station Redevelopment Architect : Foster + Partners

Location: Dresden, Saxony, Germany

Dresden Architecture

Dresden Architecture Designs – chronological list

Dresden Militärhistorisches Museum
Daniel Libeskind Architect
Dresden Military History Museum
image : Studio Daniel Libeskind
Dresden Military History Museum

German Architect Studios

German Railway Stations
Berlin Hauptbahnhof
photo © Adrian Welch

Berlin Hauptbahnhof

Dresden Station redevelopment
Foster & Partners

Dresden Station : Stirling Prize 2007 Shortlist

Dresden Railway Station:
Dresden Railway Station
Dresden Station Building Photo © Adrian Welch

Original building by Ernst Giese & Paul Weidner
Client: Deutsche Bahn AG

Dresden Station award : RIBA European Award 2007

Dresden building : Zwinger Palace

Dresden Station Redevelopment : Stirling Prize Awards

Comments / photos for the Dresden Architecture page welcome

Dresden Station Building

Website: Dresden, Saxony