Central Station Salzburg

Great, Your Train is Late!
How can a railway track underpass
be turned into a pedestrian zone?

Typology infrastructure Location Salzburg Construction Volume alteration of existing building 2.764m², extension under platform 13.000m², GV 57.500m³, platform area 19.000m², platform roofed area 23.400m², roof area Schallmoos 2.200m² Client ÖBB Infrastruktur AG Realisation 2009 – 2013/2014, design start date 01/2006 Competition 1st prize 1999 Awards Europäischer Stahlbaupreis 2013, Staatspreis Design 2013, German Design Award 2016 – shortlist, VCÖ Mobilitätspreis für Radstation Schallmoos, Architekturpreis Land Salzburg 2016


The underpass is transformed into a pedestrian zone
Photo Helmut Pierer

#Optimization of the track access #Roof canopy for the new platforms of the existing main station #Roof canopy for the new Schallmoos entrance #Integrated bicycle station #Improvement of the drop-off and car parking zone at the Schallmoos entrance

By enlarging the platform underpass and creating a naturally lit shopping arcade, the access route to the tracks is transformed from being a dark passage to a busy pedestrian zone. The reorganisation of Salzburg Central Station with a new entrance on the east side of the station is an urban densification project, which has helped to not only create public space but also connect the city districts on either side of the tracks.
With the new entrance, Salzburg’s main railway station is given a facelift in the Schallmoos district. The result is a striking new entrance that redefines the city-side of the station and highlights the overall effect of the station project.


Photo Taufik Kenan

The authentic integration of the existing historic structures into the new scheme of Salzburg’s main railway station gives the complex a distinct and fascinating character. The curved roof elements, stretching along the platforms, almost reach up to the carefully restored, intricately designed historic station hall and form a large surface above the platforms. The dynamic structure interprets the movements of arriving and departing trains, and thus gives the station a unique appearance. Accessed via the restored historic railway hall, the shopping arcade, which is designed as a landscaped urban space with large open areas, not only connects the various levels and functions of the station project but also activates urban life by functioning as a link between the two city districts either side of the tracks.

Photo Robert Deopito

In order to reintegrate the station into the city, kadawittfeldarchitektur was not only given the complex task of rearranging the railway tracks. The principal aim was to incorporate the historic railway station from 1860 with its authentic appearance into a new overall concept.

The new dynamic platform roofs and the repositioned delicate historic platform halls from 1908 form an unexpected and comfortable large-scale structure.
60 tons of steel in the form of delicate, specially manufactured members were installed to replace rusty elements or to provide the required snow load-bearing capacity.

Photo Robert Deopito
Existing building stock before the conversion

The terminal station is turned into a through station

The island-like station of the central perron, dating back to 1909 and built for the purpose of customs clearance, was abandoned and became redundant in respect to the open borders following the Schengen Agreement. The dark underground access to the tracks and the safety-related requirements of a contemporary station were a further reason for the conversion of the terminal.

Cross-section through the track systems

When travellers wander through the shopping arcade – starting at the refurbished entrance building from 1860/1909, via the new roof landscape covering the tracks, a synthesis of the finely structured historical halls (1909) and the curved platform roofing (2013), and ending at the new roof sculpture of the eastern entrance (2014) – they also experience the long history of Salzburg Central Station.

Photo Helmut Pierer

Even the historic vaults above the platforms are visible from the open-roofed passage that is positioned below the tracks, perpendicular to the platforms and accessible via the historic station hall.

Photo Helmut Pierer
Light studies on the model
Photo Angelo Kaunat

The construction work, which took place while the station was in full operation, was a complex planning task with 750 trains and 25,000 passengers per day.

Photo Taufik Kenan

The tracks as well as the platforms are covered mainly in glass, transparent membrane roofs and pneumatic air-cushions. Thus a bright and transparent station hall is created with totally new characteristics.

Video of the opening | by ourOEBB | published on 19.11.2014

The roof structure on the Schallmoos side of the station, the last part to complete the station project in November 2014, marks the station entrance on Lastenstrasse and covers the entrance and exit stairways, new bicycle stands as well as the forecourt with a Kiss and Ride lane.

Photo Angelo Kaunat
Photo Helmut Pierer
Photo Helmut Pierer

The 120-metre-long and up to 25-metre-deep curved roof at the new entrance is an urban landmark highlighting the new arrival and departure area on the once forgotten side of the station.

Photo Helmut Pierer
Video at night | by Daniel Rehbein