ICE Fernbahnhof, Frankfurt, Germany

The Project
A spectacular interface

Since Deutsche Bahn created the concept of “stations of the future”, numerous projects designed to transform and cover stations have been presented by leading international architecture firms. Deutsche Bahn’s commitment to modernisation and the proximity of the airport were essential for the architects. The architecture was to be characterised not only by comfort and efficiency but also by the concentration and modularity of the functions. Scope for subsequent roofing was also required.

The concept of an ‘independent organism’

In the design of the slender, balanced building some 700 metres in length, the architects sought to express the idea of an ‘independent organism’. From the functional point of view, the building consists of a hall housing the platforms, a relaxation area within the supporting belly of the structure and a station hall with a glazed dome, to which the technical exchange zone linking with Terminal 3 of the airport is attached. Telescopic V-shaped pillars dominate the construction at intervals of 15 m along the length of the edifice, enabling some 60 metres of free span above the platforms. Whilst entirely metallic in appearance, the building also features vast expanses of functional glazing. In addition to the lace-glass dome, the fully glazed façade over the platforms admit a profusion of natural light.

Smoke evacuation and fire protection compartments

Light reaches the centre of the building from the top, through a large ellipse shaped aperture. In addition to admitting light the ellipse plays an essential role in protecting the building against fire. In the event of a fire, the air brought into the building through the numerous smoke extractors located in the platform façades would ensure mechanical smoke extraction. For level 0, smoke would be extracted to the open air via the ellipse and the smoke extractors in the dome.

Relaxation area with a spectacular view

Level 2 has been incorporated into the ellipse to form a completely separate fire protection compartment between the tracks (level 0) and the upper station hall (level 3). Level 2 contains luxuriously appointed relaxation areas and conference facilities. At that level, toward the centre, compartmentalisation has been achieved, with fire-stop glazing covering the oval aperture. The fire protection compartment surrounds all the visible free height of the useful volumes. The F 30 glazing has several special features. The glass employed is special Pilkington Pyrostop® fire protection glass that, in addition to affording protection against fire, also fulfils rigorous requirements in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation and protection against vandalism. Horizontally continuous glazed surfaces 2.7 metres high with a maximum width of 1.2 metres have been assembled with an inclination of 9.5°. The structure of the glazing necessitated separate pendulum impact-resistance tests to determine safety with respect to falls. Level 2 is accessed via elevators, the cages of which are protected by F 30/T 30 Pilkington Pyrostop® glazed doors.
  Project ReferenceGL_PR0085
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Project Details
Hugo Eckener Ring Flughafen Fernbahnhof, 60549 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Opening Date
Building Type
  • Public
  • Transport
About the Architect/Installer
Hadi Teherani