Categorisation in building history
At the start of the 20th century, the main station opened the door to a new world and had in South Germany a similar effect to Peter Behrens´ (1868 – 1940) turbine-hall in Berlin, or Walter Gropius´ (1883 – 1969) Fagus-works in Alfeld, even though it became a contemporary of the Weissenhofsiedlung due to its long completion time as a result of the war.
In Stuttgart there is the probably unique situation that the two most important architectural trends of the early 20th century are represented by two first-class examples only a few minutes away from each other: New Building at the Weissenhofsiedlung, and Traditional Building at the main station.
This is reason enough to be duty bound to preserve Bonatz´s most important work, restore it as far as possible, and open it up to the public with a modern use-concept. Over and above that, it is obvious that a bridge should be built to understand these buildings jointly as first-rate architectural and idea-historical testimonials, and consequently protect and present them as a cultural legacy.
The time seems ripe to respect New Building and the »Other Modernism« together. It is this very contest between the two trends which makes Stuttgart an internationally interesting, indeed unique case.