Berlin Hauptbahnhof station is the largest railway junction in Europe. The five levels of railway lines appear to come from all directions, the most striking is the east-west line that arrives above your head. Bright red trains emphasise the unfolding, futuristic, Metropolis-like drama.
Berlin Hauptbahnhof Construction
The new building’s origins date back to 1992 shortly after reunification following the fall of the Berlin Wall. The vision to build the station on what was once no-man’s land was started with a competition to design the project. The winning proposal was by the Hamburg architecture firm Gerkan, Marg and Partners.
Building The Station
It took eight years to build and cost €700m to create Berlin’s main station. Completed in 2006, it was opened by Angela Merkel. The occasion was made all the more memorable by a knife-wielding teenager attacking members of the public that were leaving the ceremony. He received 7 years for 33 cases of attempted manslaughter.
World Cup Delays Averted
The roof had to be reduced in size so that the station could be completed in time for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Apparently the missing parts are still in storage, uninstalled.
Waiting for the Perfect Shots
When I arrived at the station there was a red train on the platform over my head, so I knew what was going to be the most dramatic shot. Once I had documented the rest of the station I then found the perfect higher up location and waited for another red train to arrive to achieve the best shots. With reputedly over 300,000 visitors per day, the station is constantly busy. It would have been impossible to shoot without passengers visible. In most cases I think the hurrying people adds to the frenetic atmosphere.
These hand held photographs were taken with an extra wide angle 14-24mm zoom lens.