The Reichstag cupola - The spiral walkway that is reminiscent of a double-helix, leading to top of the dome and roof terrace.
Reichstag Dome, Platz der Republik 1, Berlin, Germany - (designed by Sir Norman Foster 1999).
Foster and Partners won a commission in 1992 to transform the building into the new home for the unified German Parliament. The Foster team's design focuses on making the processes of government more transparent.
Foster's dome is a gleaming metal and glass structure, with a ramp that spirals up to a roof terrace, and affording 360-degree views of central Berlin. The dome overlooks the debating chamber for the Bundestag and a central mirrored cone draws light into the plenary chamber. The design also preserves remnants of the building's colorful past, including graffiti left by the Red Army in 1945.
A large sun shield tracks the movement of the sun electronically and blocks direct sunlight which might bedazzle those below. Construction work was finished in 1999 and the seat of parliament was transferred to the Bundestag in April of that year. The dome is no longer open to anyone without prior registration.
Foster was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1999 for his work on the building, which has become one of the top tourist destinations in Berlin.
Taken in February 2006.
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