The dramatic diamond-shaped roof of the new Vienna Central railway station has provided Vienna with a central hub in the trans-Europe rail network. It is probably one of the most complicated and striking steel construction projects in Austria incorporating over 7,000 tonnes of steel. It will be used by 145,000 people every day and over 1,000 trains are due to pass through on their journey across Europe.
The station’s spectacular steel and glass lozenge roof, 260 metres long and 120 metres wide, has become a symbol of modern mobility and functionality, and distinguishes the building from everything around it. The roof structure, which is made up of 14 individual diamond shapes, arches over five platforms. Its height varies between six to fifteen metres, so that it seems to hover over the platforms. The creation of the gigantic structure was a demanding challenge for the contractors and the steel construction company Unger Steel Group, not only from a technical point of view, but also with regard to the logistics of the project.
The complexity of the roof structure meant that it would be virtually impossible to maintain so the design allowed for individual members to be galvanized and bolted together to form the complex rhombus for each subsection of the roof. It was therefore possible to avoid costly maintenance work which would entail closures along with health and safety issues.