Fastening Europe’s largest façade

Courtney Tenz


An ever-changing construction plan required a flexible supplier able to supply material, which meets certain corrosion resistance requirements, to create strong fasteners for binding the sandstone pieces on the Berlin City Palace, Europe’s largest façade.


High-strength duplex stainless steel meets the corrosion resistance and mechanical property requirements. Furthermore, the close cooperation between Outokumpu and Modersohn makes it possible to adapt the final offering according to changing project specifications.


Steel grade: Outokumpu Forta stainless steel

Originally constructed in 1443, the Berlin City Palace holds a special place both in the hearts of the German people and their capital. Located directly across from the Berlin Cathedral in the city’s central district of Mitte, the palace with its magnificent baroque façade stood for centuries as a symbol of the city’s historical importance. Destroyed at the end of World War II, the palace was replaced by the Palace of the Republic, a modern monolith housing the parliament of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The building was demolished in 2008 after the government voted to reconstruct the Berlin City Palace from scratch in its original style in 2006. The façades are estimated to be ready by the end of 2018.


A palatial undertaking

Plans drawn up by Italian architect Franco Stella to recreate the 15th century look of the original palace had to consider not only the replication of the palace’s later additions, including the Schlüterhof, a glass-enclosed courtyard, but also today’s modern standards.

The 55,000 square meter four-sided sandstone façade is the largest of its kind in Europe. Although ground was broken in June 2012, fire protection and safety requirements have mandated revisions to both the materials and the execution of the project. Already well-experienced in prestigious restorations, construction partner Modersohn Stainless Steel has been able to easily adapt to these changes. As a committed supplier of the materials Modersohn needs for the fabrication of these parts, Outokumpu has shown equal flexibility. “Outokumpu has been a reliable partner for many years,” says Harald Rickenstorff, Department Manager, M-CONSTRUCT, part of Modersohn.


Holding on tight

Securing the individual sandstone elements requires supporting and retaining anchors that are both corrosion-resistant and sturdy to minimize potential future damage. Lean duplex steel that meets corrosion resistance class 3, referring to the material’s corrosion resistance level as specified in the German building standard, was the choice of both the planners and inspectors in order to meet their exacting standards.

Outokumpu has been delivering lean duplex steel from its Forta product family to Modersohn since many years. Deliveries for the Berlin palace started in April 2015 and will run until end of 2017.

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Structural applications

An inspired choice for load-bearing structures, stainless steel delivers exceptional strength with added benefits – like the corrosion resistance of steel in the Supra range, and light weight of high-strength duplex steel in the Forta range.


The Forta range contains duplex and other high strength stainless steels that enable thinner structures and weight reduction (measured in Rp0.2 > 400 MPa. PRE 16 to 43).

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