The Reichstag building in the capital of Germany is a historical construction but closely linked to today. To begin with because that neoclassical building inspired by the art of the Renaissance is still in use today as the seat of the German Parliament.
Aerial view of the Berlin Reichstag
But in addition to this, the Reichstag building, when it was about to complete a century of history, was extensively renovated. The initial work was designed by the architect Paul Wallot, who concluded it in 1894. However, as we said some 100 years later, it was profoundly renovated. Something that coincided with a new period in Germany, since since 1989 the Wall had fallen and the former republics of the east and west had been reunited.
Well, those works left us one of the most spectacular achievements of the long artistic career of the British architect Norman Foster. A creator whose works are spread all over the world and are always references for contemporary art, as is the case of the Shanghai Bank headquarters in Hong Kongor the Millennium Bridge of London. And among those current architectural jewels bequeathed by Foster, we must also place the great dome that he generated in the highest part of the Berlin Reichstag.
Really the transparent dome of theReichstag is the most striking and symbolic element of Foster's intervention. But curiously, this element was not in his initial proposal. However, he incorporated it over time, after winning the international competition to remodel the building. A process that certainly lasted throughout the 90s of the last 20th century. And that even before it took place, it turned the Reichstag itself into a gigantic art object, when it was enveloped by Christo's quirky concept art.
The fact is that this dome was finally built, which has a diameter of 40 meters and is located on a roof about 24 meters high. Already in the original project of Wallot in the 19th century, a dome was conceived, which was even going to be built higher than that of Foster, whose zenith reaches 47 meters. However, at that time no one would have thought of a transparent dome like the one seen today.
Interior of the Reichstag dome
A dome based on a structure of ribs and steel rings to support a glass surface of 3,000 square meters. If its presence is already impressive in the heart of the neo-Renaissance building, its true magic is understood when one literally gets inside the dome, since it is accessible by means of ramps.
In fact, there is its symbolism, since the dome is located over the plenary hall of the German Parliament, and you can visit it with the politicianswithin. In this way, they are below the common people. They are watched by normal people so that they do well the work for which they have been chosen.