Penzel Valier: Tramdepot Bern - best architects 13 in Gold

Penzel Valier

Tramdepot Bern

best architects 13 in Gold

commercial/industrial buildings





Dominique Uldry


The lamellar organisation of the new depot hall reflects the constraints of the tight and acute-angled perimeter and configures them into a concise system. The basic motif is a sawtooth-roofed structure made of steel truss beams with spans of up to 90 metres (Stage 3). The single internal row of supports separates the depot area from the service area with its washing bay and maintenance building. The inner and outer supports are V-shaped to provide longitudinal reinforcement for the approximately 200-metre-long hall. This V-shape then forms the leitmotif for the overall design, reflected in the structure and rhythm of the facade and hence shaping the overall appearance of the building. The structural height of the cross-members is dictated by the option of extending the hall without need for additional supports. For subsequent expansion stages, the existing facade can be dismantled and the trusses extended. The support structure of trusses and cross-braces is covered in a metallic and glass skin that lends the building either a sculptural quality or a translucent lightness, depending on the fall of light, with the red trains and signals shimmering dimly through the cast glazing.