Image credit: Concept sketch by Norman Foster, Foster + Partners

How do you create a symbol for a new unified Germany? Sir Norman Foster designed a concept to sensitively peel away architectural layers and integrate the original sense of democracy within the architecture of the transformation of the Berlin Reichstag. He honoured the marks of history, may it be Russian graffiti or signs of mutilations during the war years. Germany today would not be the place it is without these episodes of history. The Berlin Reichstag is a symbol for the Germany of union and democracy. To enter the building, politicians and the public walk side-by-side, a poignant reminder to the members of parliament who they should be serving to. The Reichstag cupola is light with views of politics being made for Germany and over Berlin and the people who live here. When it is lit up, it also serves as a beacon of light to remind us of the importance of democracy.

The cupola of the Berlin Reichstag has been open to the public since 1999. Few people can imagine the Reichstag without Sir Norman Foster’s cupola and his transformation of the building.