Photo © Marcus Bredt

Central Station Berlin

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Deutsche Bahn AG
gmp · Architekten, Berlin
Cooperation with
Peter Andres Lichtplanung, Hamburg
Helmut Angerer, Tanja Erk

The main idea of the lighting design for the central station is to create a pleasant, bright and welcoming atmosphere that avoids monotonous light effects.

Large apertures at different levels of the station hall provide a widespread daylighting throughout the whole station, down to the lowest platform. The goal was to design an appropriate artificial lighting design that corresponds to the variety of daylight impressions and that pleases the travellers by matching their natural sense of light.

However, the original coherent lighting system was altered by the interventions of the German Railways. Originally, a big axial distance of 4,35m between the luminaires was intended in order to visually shorten the spatial extent in longitudinal axis. Point-shaped light sources should give brilliance to the space. Parts of this concept were realized at the bridges of the central atrium so that they can give an idea of the original design. Indeed, the lighting that was realized at the levels belowground consists of simple light lines in longitudinal axis, which produce a very monotonous light atmosphere and that adversely even highlight the strong spatial stretch-out instead of softening it.

A great challenge was the platform lighting at level 1: Minimizing the necessary amount of poles, the greatest possible axial distances between the luminaires were chosen. The desired proportions were 26m pole distance with a mounting height of only 7,47m. Experts deemed it impossible to fulfil the demanded uniformity requirements with such dimensions. Nevertheless, employing all our technical knowledge, we managed to create a reflector system that matches the demands and still keeps the conditions of limiting the beam angles to 70°. So we could convince the experts.

The quality of proper glare reduction can be perceived best by comparing the station’s luminaires with the fixtures of the surroundings at night.

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