On top of the Reichstag building in Berlin, the delicate web of steel and glass seems to protect the German parliament which houses inside. The renovation of the premises and the construction of the dome or cupola was designed by the reknowned British architect, Norman Foster, and completed in 1999.
This dome symbolizes the unification of Germany and functions literally as a completely transparant observation platform. Here citizens and visitors alike can watch the ongoing democratic process underneath in the parliament. Visualisation of the concept of democracy might not get more crystal clear than this.
At the core of the cupola a series of mirrors reflects the incoming light vertically down into the chamber during the day. The whole system is known to accumulate heat in a hot water reservoir which then can be used to heat the building or even drive an absorption cooling plant for production of chilled water. As such, it is a very ecology friendly design.
At night, the reverse is taking place as light from inside the building is reflected into the surroundings, making this place one of Berlins superbe landmarks.