We were invited to compete in this competition in 1995.
We proposed a partially covered pedestrian route forming a new and impressive landscape ‘landing strip’ which will structure the urban development between the station and the Messe. This would provide a coherent, flexible urban plan and an environmental and design framework which will allow the station and entrance route to the Messe to be built for the year 2000, The landscape rises in gentle waves from the Station Concourse level at +73.3m to the Messe Entrance at approximately +77.7m.
The concept is about flow – the integration of the flow of travellers and the flow of structure. The design is based upon a flowing transparent glass canopy above the concourse which extends naturally along the platform and informs the architectural and hierarchical composition of the station. It is a freely ventilating space.
The design also creates both a spectacular space for visitors arriving at Expo 2000 and future exhibitions at the Hannover Messe and a station in which both the town of Hannover and Deutsche Bahn will have pride. It is an objective to make it economical to construct.
We have orientated the arrival-departure concourse diagonally. This enables visitors to arrive from all platforms in a direct and clearly orientated manner. It also creates the opportunity to develop a strong architecture for the station entrance to Munchner Straße and the new Messe route at the level of the station concourse.
The concourse is accessed by pairs of escalators or via stair and lift groups from each platform. The stair planning and location of lift doors ensures that travellers arrive and leave the concourse level in the direction of flow. News-stands and ticket accommodation are located as free-standing objects on the concourse.
The design is based upon a series of external paired steel arches spanning approximately 100m and 30m apart. A typical paired arch is composed of two 450mm diameter primary tubes and horizontally braced 3m apart. The arches are tied town with tension cables at three locations – to the perimeters of the concourse deck and lift structures – in such a way that enables the arches to resist asymmetrical loading and to remain as simple tubes. An orthogonal cable net is tensioned between the arches, forming an anticlastic surface upon which the glass panels are attached.
Laminated glass platform canopies, 7m wide, are suspended from the extended primary tubes of the arches and run the full length of each platform. These suspended glass planes continue over the station concourse.