Platz der Republik 1
Norman Foster 1999
As well as being gutted by fire,
the former home of German democracy was further damaged during Allied
bombing of Berlin in World War II. It was left in this run-down state
until the 1960s, when it was opened as a conference center. The Reichstag
was the site of the German reunification ceremonies at midnight on October
Foster and Partners won a
commission in 1992 to transform the building into the new home for the
unified German Parliament. The Foster team's design focuses on making the
processes of government more transparent.
Foster's dome is a gleaming
metal and glass structure with a ramp that spirals up a to a roof terrace
with 360-degree views of central Berlin. The dome overlooks the debating
chamber for the Bundestag and a central mirrored cone draws light into the
plenary chamber. The design also preserves remnants of the building's
colorful past, including graffiti left by the Red Army in 1945.
Foster was awarded the Pritzker
Prize in 1999 for his work on the building, which has become one of the
top tourist destinations in Berlin.
The Reichstag design strongly
influenced Foster's City
Hall in London.
The Reichstag is located on
Platz der Republik, along the Spree River, just north of Brandenburg Gate
(Brandenburger Tor). The nearest S-Bahn stops are Friedrichstrasse or
Unter den Linden, and the U-Bahn stops at Friedrichstrasse.
Access to the
dome and roof terrace
The dome and roof terrace are
open and free of charge to the public. Enter at the West entrance to the
building, off Platz der Republik. The building is very popular, so
sometimes a visit involves waiting in line, and it's advisable to arrive
early in the day. The dome and terrace are open daily (except Christmas
Eve and New Year's Day) from 8 a.m. to midnight (last admission at 10
The roof terrace restaurant is
open from 8 a.m. to midnight. It is advisable to reserve a table in
advance, especially for dinner (tel +49 30 22 62 99 33).
Access to the
rest of the building
You can make appointments for a
complete tour of the building, but reservations must be made several
months in advance. Call
+49 30 22 73 21 52 or fax +49 30 22 73 00 27.
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