Vienna’s new central station project is pivotal to the city’s transport policy as it enables trains to converge in a single location for the first time. The original master plan was overhauled in 2004 and the new version led to the development of an urban model for the station and its surroundings.
This master plan envisaged a public transportation hub with a sculptural roof that would function as both a flagship urban project and a landmark of a district in the throes of change, with the station also providing the impetus for the further development of more sites and the creation of a new municipal park. The “Vienna Team” working group is managing the overall realisation of the new station, with the Hotz/Hoffmann-Wimmer team handling the architectural design. Theo Hotz Partner is responsible for the sculptural roof.
Providing a clear iconic identity for the station, the roof comprises a folded plate structure that undulates rhythmically above the five platforms, defining striking interior and exterior spaces to dramatic effect. The juxtaposition between the rise and fall motion in one direction and the compression and expansion in the other transforms a simple platform canopy into a spectacular roof exuding a strong sense of movement.
Comprising fourteen diamond-shaped segments and five single canopies, the roof extends in an alternating wave pattern over the platforms. Each diamond roof segment consists of a space frame punctured in the centre by a rhombus-shaped skylight. The staggered arrangement of these linked segments in turn creates diamond-shaped openings on the sides, which are enclosed by a façade of scale-like triangular glass panels to provide protection against the elements. The angled lines of the soffits reflect those of the folded plate structure above and their triangular surfaces create a striking crystalline form that produces stunning light effects.