Less than eight months after it opened, Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof, Europe’s largest –and at a cost of €750 million (USD 900 million) certainly the continent’s most expensive– rail station, hit the headlines today after Storm Kyrill apparently knocked a two-ton steel girder from the building’s facade.
Only opened since May, officials wondered, wind storm notwithstanding, how something so new could begin falling apart so quickly. From Spiegel:
“In truth, something like that should never have happened,” said Berlin’s Interior Secretary Ehrhart Körting, in something of an understatement.
The station was closed and evacuated because of the storm at the time, so no injuries were reported.
While the merits of spending that kind of money on the station have been and continue to be argued, it’s not debateable that it’s an absolutely stunning metal and glass architectural gem spawning yet another example of impeccable German efficiency. When I passed through on an early September day –along with about 320,000 others on that Monday– I was struck by its immensity, and it’s locale: the Reichstag, Potsdamer Platz, the Federal Chancellery and the Holocaust Memorial are just a short stroll away, making it a destination in itself.
A few more pics: