Friday, November 5, 2010

Germany's Bundestag

Germany's Parliament is housed in the Bundestag, a restored historic building topped with a new and very popular glass dome, designed by the British architect, Lord Norman Foster.

The dome and the glass roof above the Parliament's chamber symbolizes transparency of the functioning of the government which holds seat in the auditorium below. The dome is lined with spiral walkways around a central column of moveable mirrors. The mirrors reflect natural light into the chamber.

A moveable screen made of metal tubes provides flexible shade, according to weather conditions.

The building also employs biodiesel generators, photovoltaic cells and geothermal heat pumps to reduce its demands on the electrical grid.

The geometry of the building provided a number of interesting angles...

...which was a good thing...

...since the early morning mist had made it difficult to see the views outside the windows. Still, it gave us some soft images.

While arriving before the mist cleared from the windows meant we didn't see much of the skyline of Berlin, it also meant we beat the long lines waiting to enter the building:

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