façade area

glass shell of strasbourg railway station

Like a giant cocoon, the new glass shell of Strasbourg Railway Station wraps around the historic station building. In collaboration with the engineering firm RFR, Jean-Marie Duthilleul, the architect for the French company (SNCF), designed a glass hall, which runs above the landmarked building for a length of 120m, while seeming never to make contact with it. An oversized, 25m high “winter garden” serves as the entrance building and as the link between train tracks and trains, trams, buses, taxis as well as the underground.

The new station hall will also make history – as a pioneering project in the building of glass structures. Cold-formed LSG panes were used for the first time on this project, which involved a surface area of nearly 6,000sqm. The primary steel supporting frame is made up of 16 main arches spaced at nine-metre intervals and horizontal secondary supports suspended in between (lattice ‘Fink’ beam elements), spaced at a 4.5m radial interval. Resting on this frame are vertically positioned steel T-profiles with aluminium supports on which the glass panes are fixed with compression moulding in the vertical lines. The horizontal fittings are only wet jointed, giving the glass hall a vertical structure.

  • Traditionally, curved glass is produced by heating flat glass panels using bending moulds. However, heat-shaping leads to a lack of visual quality as regards flatness and reflections and causes undesirable manufacturing anisotropies. Cold-formed glass, by contrast, provides a much more homogeneous surface. The glass structure at Strasbourg Railway Station was created from various components: 6mm thermally pre-stressed white glass with a double silkscreen printing in white/black similar to that on the roof, plastic composite foil with integrated sun protection film and 6mm thermally pre-stressed glass with low coating.

    Reference overview, header, 1st & 4th slide image: © seele / Matthias Reithmeier

    2nd, 3rd & 5th slide image: © seele / Obertreis


Client SNCF – Direction des Gares et de l’Escale
Architect AREP – Aménagement Recherche Poles d’Echanges
Engineer RFR
Date of completion 2006
Scope of work by seele

Glass hall with

  • approx. 6.000sqm cold-formed LSG panes
  • 20m length, 25m height and 20m width