The People’s Hall (Volkshalle) model
Hall of People as it would have been known, The Volkshalle was planned as a domed building. The architect behind the building was Albert Speer, Hitler’s Architect. It was supposed to be the architectural showpiece for the new world Capital of Hitler’s Germany, Welthaupstadt. However the project could never see the light of the day and it remained a distant dream for Hitler. Had it been built it would have put to shame other structures in Berlin. The dome of the building was supposed to rise from a stone podium and was supposed to measure 1,033 feet x 1,033 feet with a height of 250 feet. The total height was envisaged around 950 feet or 290 meters. It was supposed to have a diameter of 820 feet or 250 meters.
Inside the Volkshalle, plans were to construct a huge apse which was supposed to be covered with gold mosaics. It also would have a giant eagle of 80 feet height made of silver. Beneath it was supposed to be the Fuhrer’s tribunal. The tribunal was the place from where Hitler would have addressed more than 180,000 people who would be made to sit in three tiers of seat shaped in a circular form having a diameter of 460 x 460 feet.
The top of the dome was also supposed to have a giant oculus of 150 ft or 46 meters in diameter. It would be so huge that it could have easily accommodated the entire dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Tragically the Volkshalle was never built because experts believed that such a huge granite dome was impossible from the structural viewpoint. There were many other architectural issues too and these included acoustics which would have made it impossible for anyone to hear the speaker. Even if the voice was magnified the volume would be deafening defeating the very purpose.
The architect Albert Speer also believed that during winter the perspiration and breathing of more than 100,000 people in such a close space could create a weather of its own and might perhaps lead to indoor rains because of precipitation.
All images for this article: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons