Germany, Berlin 

Berlin Central Station


Competition 1993 – 1st Prize
Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Jürgen Hillmer
Design team Jens Kalkbrenner, Manfred Stanek
Project managers, long-distance rail Hans-Joachim Glahn, Klaus Hoyer
Project manager, glass roofs Prisca Marschner
Project managers, building slabs Prisca Marschner, Susanne Winter
Project team Christel Timm-Schwarz, Bettina Kreuzheck, Michael Scholz, Petra Kauschus, Monica Sallowsky, Tomomi Arai, Klaus-Dieter Schimpf, Ivan Ivanov, Katrin Junge, Jan Koettgen, Karsten Fritsche, Burkhard Pick, Risteard Mac Diarmada, Silke Petry, Bernd Kottsieper, Dirk Tietgen, Matthias Holtschmidt, Kemal Akay, Andreas Ebner, Frank Anacker, Stefan Both, Henning Raske, Meinhard Rudolph, Jochen Köhn, Dirk Hünerbein, Hubertus Pieper, Vita Römer, Elisabeth Mittelsdorf, Ralph Preuß, Peter Karn, Amra Sternberg, Radmilla Blagovcanin, Ahrend Buchholz-Berger, Hans Münchhalfen, Maike Carlsen, Ivanka Perkovic, Antje Pfeifer
Structural engineering schlaich bergermann und partner; IVZ/Emch+Berger
Lighting design Peter Andres + Conceptlicht GmbH
Mechanical services Ingenieurgesellschaft Höpfner
Client Deutsche Bahn AG represented by DB Projekt Verkehrsbau GmbH
Construction period 1996–2006
Gross floor area 175,000 m² – 5 transportation levels
Site area 100,000 m²

Movie of Architecture:
Hans-Georg Esch & Oliver Schwabe



Hans-Georg Esch

Juergen Schmidt

[email protected]

Luftbild Berlin

Marcus Bredt

Berlin’s new Central Station – Europe’s largest train station for long-distance, regional, and local transport – was built on its historical site in the Tiergarten District, west of Humboldthafen. At this station the new underground north-south link of the InterCityExpress service connects with the west-east line running on a curved railway track. Additionally, suburban railway tracks in both directions, as well as an underground line from north to south arrive at this station. The north-south track runs 15 m below ground level in a tunnel, which also passes below the River Spree and the Tiergarten. A train station for long-distance journeys with eight platforms, four platforms for long-distance and regional transport as well as a new train station for the U5 underground line positioned parallel to the eastern platform was realized in this location. The east-west line is elevated 10 m above street level und corresponds to the previous course of the railway tracks. A total of four long-distance railway tracks and two urban train tracks run on four newly constructed urban railway bridges.


The traffic of the train station is organized on three levels:

Level –2:
Long-distance and regional lines
from north to south; U5 underground
Level ±0:
Local public transport; individual
transport (access road, short-term
car park); bicycles and pedestrians;
tourist transport (coaches, ships)
Level +1:
Long-distance and regional lines
on the urban railway track; S3, S5,
S75, S7, and S9 urban railway lines.

The new Berlin Central Station comprises a total floor area of 175,000 m², with approximately 15,000 m² reserved for shops and gastronomy, 50,000 m² are provided as office space in the arch buildings, 5,500 m² serve for operational railway use as well as 21,000 m² as circulation area. The  platforms cover an area of 32,000 m², the garage comprises 25,000 m².


The key design principle of Berlin’s Central Station is the clear emphasis of the existing course of the railway tracks in the urban environment. Large, lightweight glass roofs as well as two intersecting office buildings translate this principle with architectural means.