Location

The underground station, Rotes Rathaus, is directly adjacent to the reversing loop at Alexanderplatz that has existed since the 1930s. The latter runs below Rathausstraße and ends approximately level with Jüdenstraße.

The three entrance stairways of Rotes Rathaus station are directly in front of the seat of Berlin's government, while the station itself is located underneath Rathausstraße, between Spandauer Straße and Jüdenstraße.

Because the Alexanderplatz reversing loop will become a normal line section in the course of work, a new track-switching system will be linked to underground station Rotes Rathaus to the west of Spandauer Straße.

© Collignon Architektur
Design

Underground station Rotes Rathaus was designed by the Berlin-based architectural firm Collignon Architektur.

The idea was inspired by the vaulted ceiling of the medieval town hall in Berlin that was rediscovered during archaeological excavations. Seven central columns support the majority of the ceiling load, their flared heads taking on the appearance of mushrooms reminiscent of the old vaulting. Combined with the single island platform, they give the concourse a spacious, airy feel. In terms of colour, the station features a modern black and white design.

The Rotes Rathaus Station has two levels: the platforms for the new U5 are found on the upper level, while the lower one will feature a storage siding as a replacement for the reversing loop at Alexanderplatz.

© bünck+fehse
Construction

The excavation pit for underground station Rotes Rathaus was built using the cut-and-cover top-down method. Diaphragm walls made of reinforced concrete initially provide support for the sides of the pit. Following this, a waterproof floor was constructed in the ground using jet grouting to form the bottom of the pit. A cover was then concreted over the structure, minimising noise and dust pollution.

Inside the pit, the soil was excavated and the reinforced concrete floor and walls of the structure were built. A particular feature of underground station Rotes Rathaus is the fact that the pit cover is also the station roof. During its construction, the flared support heads were concreted in at the same time. The heads of the supporting columns were therefore completed during the structural works phase; the column parts were then built from below.

© PRG U5/Maik Kopsch/Reetz-Graudenz
After structural works is before finishing

The shell of the Rotes Rathaus underground station has already been completed. The various finishing trades started their work in February 2017. The installation of the interior – the floors, walls and lighting – is progressing as planned by the architects. The laying of the tracks has already been completed. Elevators and escalators are already installed. As a last step, the equipment typically found in Berlin's underground stations will be installed – the ticket machines, validators and information cabinets.

Since these activities no longer require so much space on the surface, we are gradually giving the area back to the Mitte district. The entire Rathausstraße in front of the Rotes Rathaus was recently opened again.

© PRG U5
Archaeological finds

From early October 2009 to November 2011, 22 archaeology experts under the direction of archaeologists from the Berlin Monument Authority set to work in the area of the future construction sites for the U5 gap closure. Particularly extensive finds were unearthed around underground station Rotes Rathaus.

Acting with great care to uncover past treasures, the foundations and basement walls of the medieval town hall found by the archaeologists was just the start. Coins originating in East Prussia, Pomerania and Bohemia reveal a great deal about the city’s earlier economic life. The cellars of the silk factory in which the Jewish theologian and philosopher Moses Mendelssohn worked from the mid-18th century were discovered in Jüdenstraße. The most spectacular find was made during digs in the rubble of a house destroyed during the war, located on Königstraße (now Rathausstraße): eleven modernist sculptures previously thought to be lost.

Even though not every interesting discovery dates back to the Middle Ages, the archaeological excavations brought a great many valuable objects to light. Alongside a safe that was probably ‘buried’ in the final days of the war and still even contained half-burnt banknotes and documents, many coins and everyday items were uncovered.

Of the remains of the former town hall, which was structured in aisles like a church, two aisles were completely preserved. As a result, the position of underground station Rotes Rathaus and its entrances was redesigned, because one entrance would have been located directly in the area of the archaeological finds.

© Martin Stefke
Position of the new underground station Rotes Rathaus

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