The Stuttgart Main Station

A masterpiece of architecture
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Appeal for the Integral Preservation of the
Listed Building »Stuttgart Main Station«

Stuttgart’s main station, built from plans by Paul Bonatz (1877-1956) and Friedrich Eugen Scholer (1874-1949) between 1911-1928 and 1914-1928 respectively, is among the most significant buildings of the early 20th century in Germany and Europe. It can be described as the first city railway station of the »modern« era, and regarding its architectural status it ranks alongside Peter Behrens’ AEG Turbine Hall in Berlin (1908-1909) and Walter Gropius’ Fagus Works in Alfeld an der Leine (1911).

It has rightly been listed by the State of Baden-Württemberg under the State Monument Law § 12.

This 20th century architectural masterpiece has, however, not only been neglected for decades (i.e. its maintenance does not match its status), but in addition its continued existence is endangered in the very near future, as a number of serious building operations are planned from 2008/2009 as part of the »Stuttgart 21« project, conceived in the 1990s, to create an underground main station. These operations include:

  • Demolition of the whole southeast wing at the Schlossgarten (Cannstatter Str.)
  • Demolition of the whole northwest wing (towards Heilbronner Str.)
  • Demolition of the main stairway inside the main ticket hall
  • Demolition of the traffic level in the concourse

The building, which till now as a typical terminus station forms a U around the tracks, will lose through the planned »amputation« operations around 50% of its mass with the characteristic facade shapes (raw limestone bosswork), and thus become a torso. Inside the remaining building wing facing Arnulf-Klett-Platz, there will be significant operations which can only be described as »mutilation«.

It is especially serious that the developer, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn AG, is powerfully supported by the State of Baden-Württemberg, the Stuttgart Region, and the City of Stuttgart. In this way, various levels of government are ignoring the requirements of listed-building protection by intending to fragment and damage a superb, world-famous cultural monument, and to degrade what remains to a structural sham.

We express very grave reservations about the planned operations, and demand of those responsible that they develop alternatives to the plans presented so far. A solution must be found which respects the listed status and the significance of the station building, so that the impending demolition of its characteristic parts can be prevented.

For the »Stuttgart Main Station Working Group«, in April 2008
Dr. Matthias Roser, Stuttgart und Dr. Ulrich Krings, Cologne

 

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