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Archive: The Capital City of Berlin - Documentation

Lehrter Bahnhof/Hauptbahnhof Quarter Urban Planning Competition


The transport policy decision for the construction of the Hauptbahnhof/Lehrter Bahnhof was ratified in the Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railways) "Pilzkonzept" resolution passed by the Federal Government in June 1992. This concept involves the reconstruction of the historically developed net of radial routes and to add a new north-south connecting line. For the implementation of this resolution a planning approval procedure was started in 1994 and completed in the following year. It included a part of the underground line 5 and the tunnel for the Bundesstraße 96.

The new central interchange railway station has been erected, where the new north-south line is crossed by the existing east-west route over the Stadtbahn viaduct, on the site of the former Lehrter Stadtbahnhof. The architectural competition for the station building was held in 1993 and won by the Hamburg architects Gerkan, Marg and Partner. Their design later had to be revised as some of the urban planning requirements were changed as a result of the Spreebogen Ideas Competition. After the station building design had been settled, the design of the environment around the Hauptbahnhof was addressed. In agreement with the former Senate Department for Building and Housing, an urban design competition was organised in conjunction with the Deutsche Bahn. 14 architects offices were invited to participate and develop an attractive urban quarter, with a high visual and functional variety, appropriate to the location.

Awards were made to two participants: Max Dudler, Berlin for his solution for the area to the north of the Invalidenstraße, and O. M. Ungers, Berlin for the area directly around the Hauptbahnhof. Ungers's design kept the station building free with forecourts both to the north and to the south. He divided the environment into a urban quarter to the west, with seven housing blocks, following the traditional Berlin block structure. These blocks should above all be used for business and office purposes. In the eastern area the Humboldt- hafen, which, since the end of the war, had lost its function as a goods transshipment point, would be remodelled and residential accommodation established there. Individual buildings flanking the station are planned for the station forecourts: a high-rise building with a height of 100 metres to the north and to the south a block-shaped building with sides some 36 metres long. This concept succeeded in convincingly incorporating the station building in both urban relationships: the Humbolthafen and the orthogonal development of the Spreebogen.

For further development of the western city quarter, the owners, Vivico Real Estate, held a competition in 2005. The rebuilding of the Humbolthafen is also being made concrete through an urban design competition, based on the winning basic concept from Ungers. Here, the rebuilding is divided into six individual blocks. Mixed usage is envisaged, with hotels alongside residential and office use. Restaurants and services should occupy the street levels. The north-east block is reserved for residential use. Towards the water, extensive two-storey arcades will encourage visitors to browse. The water front itself should be multi-functionally used and attractively designed through restaurants, and moorings and landing stages for excursion boats.

Lehrter Bahnhof/Hauptbahnhof Quarter Urban Planning Competition

Restricted urban planning competition in two Phases and 14 invited participants.

1st Phase
Handout of the documentation: 22 July 1994
Colloquium for questions: 16 August 1994
Jury meeting: 11/12 October 1994

2nd Phase with 4 architects offices
Handout of the documentation: 2 November 1994
Jury meeting: December 1994/January 1995

1st Prize:
O. M. Ungers, Berlin - quarter- and harbour rebuilding
Max Dudler, Berlin - construction north of Invalidenstraße

1994 - The quarter north of  Invalidenstraße, design by M. Dudler
1994 - The quarter north of Invalidenstraße,
design by M. Dudler

1994 - The quarter south of Invalidenstraße surrounding the Lehrter Bahnhof/Hauptbahnhof, design by O. M. Ungers
1994 - The quarter south of Invalidenstraße surrounding the Lehrter Bahnhof/Hauptbahnhof,
design by O. M. Ungers

1994 - The quarter surrounding the Lehrter Bahnhof/ Hauptbahnhof, design by O. M. Ungers
1994 - The quarter surrounding the Lehrter Bahnhof/ Hauptbahnhof, design by O. M. Ungers

2008 - The quarter surrounding the Hauptbahnhof, Photo: Dirk Laubner
2008 - The quarter surrounding the Hauptbahnhof,
Photo: Dirk Laubner