Much ado about 8 Platforms. Stuttgart Central Station.

Much ado about 8 Platforms. Stuttgart Central Station.

Stuttgart mainstation

Hot tempered. Stuttgart 21. A station dominating the headlines.

Certainly, the design still has some unsolved issues, even after a revision made in 2010, however, it has a lot of potential when taking a closer look. Seen from an urban planning related point of view, it creates a new square becoming one with the Schloßgarten and providing an appropriate entrée along with the new city quarters. The Bonatz building will certainly be able to do without the side wings, and it won’t have to worry about being in a competition with the new subterranean railway station. The above-ground steel-glass entrance structure (shell) has become smaller after the revision and won’t be in a competition with the Bonatz building. Looking at the plans from an overall perspective, a very modern railway station is about to be built. The energy concept as well as the design concept will set new standards.

But let’s start from the beginning:

In 1910, the “Königlich Würtembergische Staatseisenbahn” (Royal Public Railway of Württemberg) decided that the city of Stuttgart needed a new railway station, appropriate for the city. A competition about designing a terminal station was announced and a remarkable 70 firms participated in the competition. The jury decided in favor of Paul Bonatz and Friedrich Schober. Their idea was a striking entrance building with 2 wing buildings along the railway track.

The terminal contained a ticket hall of remarkable dimensions and was flanked by a striking tower on the right side. Later, these two buildings were named Bonatz building and station tower. Today, the station tower is a landmark of the city of Stuttgart and the whole station building is one of the city’s best known structures.

However, time does not stand still, traffic systems, cities and infrastructures are under constant change, and also Stuttgart central station cannot meet the requirements of modern times anymore. From the end of the eighties already, modernization concepts have been talked about, debated about, deprecated, turned around and new ideas were discussed. However, from the very beginning all this was not about a concept for a new station building, it was much more: It’s about politics, environmental pollution, monumental protection, urban development, traffic concepts, viewing figures, newspaper circulations and electors‘ votes. And it’s about money, a lot of money. Meanwhile, Stuttgart central station has gained notoriety under the name “Stuttgart 21“.

Stuttgart 21, the Station as a Part of the Whole

During the past decades, master plans, sketches and concepts of a traffic and urban development project of superlatives were developed. "Stuttgart 21" is not a synonym for the “Stuttgart central station” topic, but a broader terms for re-structuring the railway node Stuttgart. Stuttgart central station is just a part of the heavily debated topic. Apart from three other stations (Filder station at the airport, the city train station Mittnachtstraße and Untertürkheim holding sidings), new tracks (Stuttgart Ulm), new connections and two new city quarters (the European quarter and the Rosenstein quarter) are planned to be erected.

In 1997, the Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) invited international tenders for designing a new station building for Stuttgart. Turning the terminal stations into a subsurface through station was the main topic of the competition. 118 firms participated in this competition and handed in nothing but concepts in the beginning. This was the basis of 19 participants getting selected, which were allowed to take part in a second round. Apart from these 19 participants, eight other firms were invited. In July 1997, four companies were victorious on an even level, hence, a third round was necessary. On 4 November 1997, the jury announced the winner after a ten-hour discussion. Ingenhoven, Overdiek, Kahlen und Partner from Düsseldorf were able to win against other 125 competitors.

Of Bull’s Eyes and Energy Concepts

The idea of Ingenhoven, Overdiek, Kahlen und Partner was a relocation of the complete station below the surface. The remaining eight platforms and the rest of the station have been turned by 90 degrees and disappear along with all required parts of the building below the surface. The only parts remaining on the surface will be the listed Bonatz building with the striking station tower. The local monumental protection authorities have allowed the two side wings of the old building to be demolished.

The “roof” of the new subterranean station hall will be turned into a square named “Georg Kiesinger Platz”, connecting the Schloßgarten and the Bonatz building with the two new city quarters. This new square is planned to be integrated into the Schloßgarten park scenery and is supposed to bear the name “Straßburger Platz”. The main thing people will remember here are the striking bull’s eyes. They are the top part of the light shafts, protruding from the top of the station. The station hall is planned to be enriched with daylight through these bull’s eyes. A steel-glass shell, reminding of the Bonatz building itself, will be the entrance to the new subterranean station.

Not built yet, but awarded already

According to Ingenhoven Architects, this new station will be a “zero energy” building, and despite the fact that the station has not even been built yet, it has been given numerous awards, the Global Holcim Award Gold 2006 for sustainability and the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Award 2005.



Further projects from Stuttgart…

Project details


Ingenhoven Architects

Concrete form work construction: Frei Otto


Start of Construction works: February 2010


49,600 m²


Deutsche Bahn AG


You need to login or register to post comments.
This comment will automatically be synchronized on social networks.
Gast's picture
Gast 2. November 2013 - 13:26

Warm to you thanks for your help.

jessymiller744's picture
jessymiller744 18. September 2014 - 15:10

For a terminal station, the design is perfect considering the urban concept that is in a constant development process. Since this is a public space, a high level of security is required. People would feel more safe if a turnstile installation would check out all the passengers, before getting on the train.

billmarket17's picture
billmarket17 10. December 2014 - 10:02

The architect of this subterranean railway station is a genius. The project looks amazing and the details are quite extraordinary. For the lighting system he should shop from lighting store SC. This store has a wide range of products, including energy saving LED and fluorescent products, which are great for dark areas.

valyspin's picture
valyspin 10. December 2014 - 13:24

Indeed, it is a wonderful project, that will modernize the area in an unique way. But before you begin to implement your plan, you should collaborate with a hardscape contractor southern MD to create a beautiful pavement not only in the railway station, but also, at the surface.

clodymony's picture
clodymony 12. December 2014 - 20:04

This building looks amazing! It has a modern architecture and the outdoor decorations are great. There are a lot of rooms in this building and it also has some garages with modern doors like those from

billmarket17's picture
billmarket17 27. February 2015 - 14:17

The superior platform should be also well maintained. The tree and crane services in Durham are more than needed to keep this public area clean and neat. The trees will grow in many directions, but these professionals can create a beautiful design for them or just trim them.

valyspin's picture
valyspin 4. March 2015 - 11:54

These days, the tree removal and cleaning services are increasingly more used, not only by the public institutions, but also by private homeowners. Every area in the country has one excellent service, for instance, the one from for the Virginia Beach areas. Bottom line, for the City Hall should be an important task to keep the streets clean and to create nice designs for them.

valyspin's picture
valyspin 5. March 2015 - 12:44

If you take a look at the utility tree work High Prairie you will understand why it is so important to keep a public area clean, to trim the trees and cut the bushes. Many accidents can happen if this work in neglected, but the City Hall must be all the time a step ahead and hire professional tree trimmers to clean the entire city, not only a certain area, which was renovated or a neighborhood.

modhuleenab's picture
modhuleenab 31. March 2015 - 12:51

These platforms have magnificent designs and the design here is simply breathtaking. However, the designers could have used beautiful custom stained glass to create a more colorful look in the platforms.

williama.willis's picture
williama.willis 3. April 2015 - 7:33

If your aim is to bring traffic to your website, improve the rank and increase your profit, hire SEO services for your business. I hope you will be familiar with the fact that UK houses a large number. click here to investigate

williama.willis's picture
williama.willis 9. May 2015 - 17:05

Your website will achieve greater rankings up the google the greater one way, inbound links from high other position website your website has. This is often a very difficult procedure and may never definitely stop.

williama.willis's picture
williama.willis 16. June 2015 - 9:51

However if you're not therefore willing to pay significant on affiliate SEO support, the tiniest amount you'll be able to do is to look for out a number of the less expensive SEO solutions that ought to be quite happy to help you. read here

williama.willis's picture
williama.willis 16. July 2015 - 9:37

With the reputation, stability and efficiency of these solutions, it is simpler that ever to make an excellent web page that delivers in a lot of individuals with the lowest quantity of attempt. vod times

wilges.marcio 27. July 2015 - 6:42

It is all about being energy efficient or in the extreme – zero energy when it comes to designs. Sydney has a number of structures that are aiming for such efficiency. Even in the removal and storage industry, we are aiming for our warehouses and storage units to be energy efficient. Any other removalist would definitely agree with me, since in the long run, it will mean cost savings for the company.

williama.willis's picture
williama.willis 1. September 2015 - 14:28

Good Interaction Skills Good communication and demonstration abilities are very essential in SEO control. More about the author

williama.willis's picture
williama.willis 9. September 2015 - 14:41

That is the whole purpose of a economical dedication. If you are looking to invest less on seo in the online industry, then you are in the incorrect area.

williama.willis's picture
williama.willis 11. September 2015 - 9:21

Selecting an recognized to do the job will preserve your resources and will make you more cash. An experienced knows what he is doing, that goes for any type of organization. click to investigate

williama.willis's picture
williama.willis 12. September 2015 - 10:14

Yosarian was still pulling from the information that he had obtained the day before. He had assured Doc Deneeka that anyone who continuous to offer to fly tasks over opponent area after attaining the compulsory 45 objective focus on was not only insane, but was so disrupted he should be sent house for his own protection. read here

williama.willis's picture
williama.willis 15. September 2015 - 10:57

The client conveys his/her very own needs and makes recommendations now and then. Concurrently, the web optimization enterprise keeps the client accustomed to improvement in the project. Reporting is an integral facet of SEO services in the country making sure that the client's requirements are satisfied. read this