The Reichstag dome is a large glass dome
with a 360 degree view of the surrounding Berlin cityscape. The debating chamber of the Bundestag, the German parliament, can be seen down below. A mirrored cone in the center of the dome directs sunlight into the building, and so that visitors can see the working of the chamber. The dome is open to the public and can be reached by climbing two steel, spiraling ramps that are reminiscent of a double-helix. The Dome symbolizes that the people are above the government, as was not the case during National Socialism.
The glass dome was also designed by Foster to be environmentally friendly. Energy efficient features involving the use of the daylight shining through the mirrored cone were applied, effectively decreasing the carbon emissions of the building. A large sun shield tracks the movement of the sun electronically and blocks direct sunlight which would not only cause large solar gain, but dazzle those below.
The futuristic and transparent design of the Reichstag dome makes it a unique landmark, and symbolizes Berlin's attempt to move away from a past of Nazism and instead towards a future with a heavier emphasis on a united, democratic Germany.