Judges order Deutsche Bahn to remodel station

28th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 November 2006, Berlin (dpa) - A Berlin court ordered the German railway company Deutsche Bahn Tuesday to remodel its brand-new Berlin main station, one of the world's most expensive rail terminals, because the company did not follow the architect's design. Meinhard von Gerkan, the German celebrity architect who has implemented more than a dozen prestige projects in China and Vietnam, sued the rail company. Arguing that the main station was a work of art, he complained that his creative rights had been i

28 November 2006

Berlin (dpa) - A Berlin court ordered the German railway company Deutsche Bahn Tuesday to remodel its brand-new Berlin main station, one of the world's most expensive rail terminals, because the company did not follow the architect's design.

Meinhard von Gerkan, the German celebrity architect who has implemented more than a dozen prestige projects in China and Vietnam, sued the rail company. Arguing that the main station was a work of art, he complained that his creative rights had been infringed.

The five-level, steel-and-glass station marks the point where east-west trains cross a north-south tunnel through the heart of the German capital. Opened in May, the landmark cost as much as many airports: 700 million euros (915 million dollars).

Gerkan was upset that the tunnel level received a flat sheet- metal ceiling. He had planned a floodlit arching ceiling, resembling the curved glass roof over the station's elevated-track level.

Judges of the Berlin state court agreed, issuing an order that Deutsche Bahn remodel the deep level, a court spokeswoman said. At earlier hearings, Deutsche Bahn said it would appeal if it lost.

During construction, Bahn employed another architect to outfit the tunnel level with a lofty flat ceiling. Gerkan was outraged, saying the planned effect of the station as a whole had been spoiled.

"It's the world's biggest underground room," he told a Berlin newspaper in May. "It was an act of destruction."

The rail company says it will cost 40 million euros and take three years if it has to remodel the station, the most expensive in Germany and possibly the world since the great age of railway building. Gerkan's office says the cost will only be half as much.

The architect was also upset when Deutsche Bahn reduced the length of the glass roof over the station's elevated platforms, which have a panorama view of the Spree river and chancellor's office building.

The architect's firm, Gerkan, Marg and Partners, designed Lingang New City, a future development near Shanghai, and the National Conference Centre opened this year in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

DPA

Subject: German news

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