Underground U3 Berlin // Daniel Müller

Key Info

Basic Information

Daniel Müller
Master of Science
Susanne Rupprecht-Reinke
Prof. Uwe Schröder
Prof. Anke Naujokat
Chair for Spatial Design


Station at Weissen See

An underground line for Berlin

The central idea of the project is to fill the interior of the station with natural light by further developing the type "underground station" into a partly underground and partly above ground architecture. This creates a spatial unity of underground and above-ground urban space and turns the underground station into a building in the classical sense. This makes it visible in the cityscape and demands the same architectural design as a public building.

For the future, the land use plan for Berlin includes the construction of a new underground line U3 between Adenauerplatz in Charlottenburg and Falkenberg. On this line, the line will touch all other underground lines and connect the already well-developed western part of the city with districts that do not yet have a connection to the underground.

The master plan deals with the routing, typologies, urban integration of the stations, system of dimensions and proportions, tectonics and materials of this new underground line. The purpose of the specifications is to ensure uniformity among the 26 stations, so that travellers can recognise the stations on the U3 at a glance from the architecture. They provide a basic framework within which individual spatial and formal architectures can be designed.

Historical development

The Berlin district of Weissensee is located in the north-eastern administrative district of Pankow and has its origins in the 13th century as a grown street village. The district takes its name from the Weissensee, a natural body of water with a diameter of 300 m, which was important for fishing and is surrounded by a lush green belt in the city centre.

Due to its location on Berliner Allee, a trade route in Berlin, Weissensee became increasingly important and grew. However, the lake lost its supportive function until the area surrounding it was opened to the public as a manor house for festivities in the middle of the 19th century. Later it was finally restructured into a public park and the manor house located in the southwest became the centre of this, Weissensee Palace. The park at Weissensee is developing into the region's excursion destination. Festivals and exhibitions take place in the castle and on its terraces. The park offers entertainment for families with playgrounds and water games, the lake provides the necessary relaxation.

Despite the occupation during the war and the numerous destructions in the course of the 20th century, the park was always rebuilt and preserved for the public, even though the castle was destroyed. Since then, attractions such as the open-air swimming pool and the open-air theatre have been added, but there is no cultural attraction that does justice to that of the castle.

Underground station Am Weissen See

The U3 stop offers the opportunity to link up with the history of the Weissen See and create a building of communal, cultural function in a magnificent form. The new station is located at the head of the Indira Ghandi Street leading to the Berliner Allee and closes the street space with its light house. Two massive towers close off the volume at the ends and, due to their height, connect to the opposite buildings and the historical cubature of the palace. Two tempietti strengthen this connection in the street space, while a large temple rises on the terrace of the Lichthaus and stands in the surrounding area.

Access via the central axis of the towers follows from the axial pedestrian crossings of the street. The cruciform vestibule is both a gateway between the park and the street space, and a mediator between the platform hall and the upper floors. Commercial space is integrated into its spandrels. Located in the basement and covered by the light house, the platforms are located in the side aisles of the opulent, bright hall. Due to its position integrated into the topography of the lake, the platform hall can be additionally illuminated from the lake side and finds a spatial connection to the idyll there. The upper floors are designed as universally usable rooms with a free centre and gallery floor, in which a café, but also art and festivities find their place. The roof terrace expands the interior and is hierarchical to the centre through the temple.

Space and materials

The aim of the construction is to do justice to the durability and appearance of the station, as manifested in the master plan, in order to create a lasting architecture. The accent colour of the station Am Weissen See is turquoise, as this not only corresponds to the plan colour of line 3, but also reflects the idealised colour of the water when the sky is reflected, thus extending this colour value into the interior. The colour, captured in the glossy marble, can be found in the arches, column shaft and pillar templates of the arch fillings, as well as the opposite wall of the window openings of the basement, in order to intensify a connection between the interior and exterior space. The colour tone also contrasts harmoniously with the sandstone and is reflected in the composition of the terrazzo.

The vestibule demonstrates the idea of a structured, architectural space and fulfils its function through the legibility of the access routes and directions. In its height development, the station concourse combines the heavy tectonic system of the mass construction with the light one of the articulated constructions to create a space of light. The towers with their galleried storeys manifest the solemnity in their orientation towards the centre and find their vertical conclusion in the alternation of parapet and balustrade, based on the scheme of the Belvedere Palace on Pfingstberg. The portico of the roof terrace, with its base and the widening space, conveys a sense of those temples that rise to celebrate a cultural spirit. The garden of the basement, which is based on the Renaissance garden, leads between the geometric architecture of the station building and the picturesque nature of the park on the Weissen See.


Contact info graduate: daniel.mueller4@rwth-aachen.de