Dresden Station

Dresden, Germany

Dresden Station is one of the largest stations in Germany, acting as one of two main transport hubs for the city. The late 19th century station, originally completed in 1898, links Dresden to Berlin and Prague.

Damage during wartime and neglect in the years following forced the station into a state of disrepair. However in 1997 a redevelopment programme was established and the beautiful renovation of Dresden Station was completed in 2006.

Challenge

The real challenge was to protect the delicate 19th Century filigree steelwork that made up the roof. Much of this was unsafe and degraded due to the years of disregard and poorly completed repair works. Firstly we needed to strip back what was left, uncovering the existing arches and foundations and devising a way of covering the roof to maintain and increase its longevity while not blocking out light or creating an imposing, dark space. Protecting the roof from the elements required some lateral thinking as glass was precluded due to modern glazing standards. The task was to bring the station back to its former glory, while making it fit for 21st century living.

We used a fabric membrane to reduce the loads imposed on the old steelwork, which increased the stability of the original structure and allowed more daylight in. Image: Nigel Young

Solution

The 30,000m² roof required careful handling; our solution was to use a fabric membrane to cover the area. The membrane rests comfortably on the original arches, loads are transferred from the membrane in the structure to the brace end trusses, relieving the pressure on the ageing steels and providing stability across the whole structure. Choosing fabric also allowed natural daylight to flood the station and reveal the intricate structure.

Our real challenge was protecting and preserving the delicate 19th century filigree steelwork that made up the station roof. Image: Nigel Young

Value

By restoring the station’s steelwork and removing unsympathetic additions that had accumulated over the years, Dresden has once again become an energetic and exciting place for travellers – whether they are passing through or residents of the city. The operators have also seen superb savings on artificial lighting as the membrane reflects lights evenly throughout the halls making the station feel safe through the day and into the night. What was a sad, decaying relic has now become a place loved by locals and visitors alike.

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