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Glorious Hubs – The rediscovery of the station areas as central places to live in the Stuttgart region

Student competition of the Stuttgart Region Association in cooperation with the HFT Stuttgart

In many countries, urban planning often follows the principle of transit-oriented development (TOD): neighbourhoods are built within walking distance of railway stations, with high density, diversity of use and high quality public space. The student competition investigates whether this model can be transferred to the Stuttgart Region.

Stuttgart urgently needs new housing - an issue that can only be solved at regional level in view of the scarce land reserves. At the same time, Stuttgart and the region are known to have a traffic problem. The danger is that the traffic problem will be exacerbated by the additional housing being built. In many countries with similar challenges, planning follows the principle of transit oriented development (TOD). In this process, public transit stops or nodes are singled out as focal points for urban development: The catchment area of the stops is strongly densified in order to achieve a maximum of usable space here. At the same time, the surroundings of the stops are upgraded through appropriate utilisation programmes and urban design measures in such a way that the surrounding areas are connected to the stop in a way that is attractive for pedestrian and bicycle traffic - the key words being "walkability" and "last mile problem". Ideally, the area around the stop will take on the function of an urban neighborhood or district center; a mobility hub can be created at the stop itself.

In 2018, a study project at the Faculty of Architecture and Design at the HFT Stuttgart examined how this planning principle could be applied to the Stuttgart region.

The regional association wanted to pursue this approach further with the competition. Areas in the vicinity of five S-Bahn stops or regional train stations were selected that exemplify typical situations in the region, in this respect have a model character and could ensure a certain transferability of the urban planning task. The participants were able to choose one of the areas, whereby a pre-selection was also made by the university. The competition was looking for holistic concepts and forward-looking visions that show what the partially neglected sites can and must achieve for the Stuttgart region in the context of the traffic turnaround. The results of the competition show examples of how the stations can develop a charisma for the location and as hubs for the region, how in some cases even decentralised centers can be created that give even peripherally located locations more urbanity, how integration into the neighborhood can be upgraded and strengthened, and last but not least, how the population can be involved in the transformation processes.

Below you will find the competition results with texts from the competition protocol. Students of the Faculty of Architecture and Design of the HFT Stuttgart were among the winners of the competition with their contributions - in addition to numerous nominations, a 3rd prize and an award went to them.


1st prize (2,000 €) Gina Uthoff & Anne Weidner | HKA Karlsruhe

The approach taken is remarkable in several respects and is characterised by a decidedly cautious approach to the existing buildings. The existing commercial buildings are topped up at certain points. In empty spaces and underused areas, new buildings are placed selectively. Only the very compact superstructure of the railroad stop is to be seen critically with regard to its feasibility. Also worth mentioning is the sensitive treatment of the open landscape in the south. There, a few new uses will be located in an island-like manner, with densification taking place more towards the east in the direction of the more central locations of Böblingen's core city. Particularly noteworthy is the supporting idea of a ring-shaped development belt that links the Hulb area with the city center and the so-called "Flugfeld", a relatively young neighborhood north of the Böblingen train station, and thereby relies on sustainable forms of transportation. Central functions are integrated in an intelligent way, and new spaces for activities and docking points for further developments and initiatives are created. The overall urban design is original in terms of urban planning, can also be implemented in stages, and is convincingly presented overall. Further conceptual thoughts – for example on material cycles, experimental agriculture and sustainable energy supply – round off the positive overall picture.

The work was supervised by Prof. Susanne Dürr.

2nd prize (1,500 €)Manuel Kramm, Susanna Manzke & Lisa Marmarotis | University of Stuttgart

The carefully elaborated design deals in detail with the existing structure. The goal is to effectively use the existing urban structures for a mobility concept and sustainable inner development. In order to develop a network of mobility hubs, the first step is the gradual rededication of garages and parking lot areas. In the long term, these hubs are to be expanded and also made available for community and logistics uses. Only in the further development will a station quarter be created at the Renningen South stop, which will have a more traditional mixed-use design. The buildings are intended as typology hybrids for housing and local supply, address-forming special buildings for culture and office use as well as residential buildings for different housing models. The intended transformation process is overall participatory and focuses primarily on the inner development as well as on the upgrading and redensification of the existing buildings. The design shows the way there in a very detailed and comprehensible way and brings the necessity of a vital and sustainable mobility and living behavior to the fore.

The work was supervised by Prof. Dr. Laura Calbet i Elias and Anna Kübler.

3rd prize (€ 1,000) Chris Philipp, Jan Tondera, Rosa Walz, Milan Wittrock & Yannik Zelenka | HFT Stuttgart.

The approach is game-changing: starting from a community foundation that acts as an advisory and helping institution, people and material are to form a complementary "unit" in the future. In the process, the S-Bahn station will become an experimental field for urban life and, at the same time, for the sustainable use of resources through creative redensification. Starting from this, the existing building will first be upgraded. This is followed by a careful expansion of the existing buildings in the form of tiny houses or containers as start-ups for later development. The interim quarter created here transitions into an urban regal. Here, the upcycling idea and the integration of the local trade are established. Co-working spaces, multi-generational living, cooperative living and temporary housing forms are created. The result is a CO2-neutral sustainable neighborhood with polyvalent spaces, an inner-city park and strong identity of its own. In this way, a socially just counter-design to the classic single-family home area with private green space is created. The available area will be sealed only minimally. Although the design envisages rather little additional living space, this will be designed holistically and adapted to a wide variety of living models.

The work was supervised by Prof. Dr. Philipp Dechow.

4th Prize (700 €) Florian Körber, Franzisca Lanz & Emelie Pernutz | HTWG Konstanz

Starting point of the work is the integrated consideration of the stop Böblingen-Hulb and the nearby regional stop Danziger Straße. For this purpose, a relocation of the latter stop and the design of an urban axis between both stops is proposed. The newly created boulevard is to serve as a focal point for further developments: The existing Hulb commercial area will be upgraded, and the central area oriented along the boulevard will be transformed into a productive neighborhood. New uses will be located in the form of an "urban quarter". This division into three sub-quarters, each with its own characteristics, is comprehensibly derived. The construction of several hubs with diverse traffic and centrality functions also fits coherently into the overall picture. Particularly noteworthy is the formation of a "green loop" that links central functions and serves sustainable movement and access. The accesses to the open space as well as adjacent settlement areas are also carefully placed. It is questionable, however, to what extent the establishment of a generous boulevard and the formation of urban sub-centers represent a viable approach for the site. Overall, the ambitious design is well elaborated and convincingly presented from concept to urban detail.

The work was supervised by Prof. Leonhard Schenk and Jeronimo Andura.


Recognition (400 €) Maxine Hattler | HFT Stuttgart

The design provides for the redensification of the Hulb commercial area and a gradual redevelopment of the vacant areas to the south. There, very compact housing is created, which is selectively enriched by other uses (culture, shopping, education, co-working). Unlike many other works for this location, the train stop will not be built over, but spanned with a curved bridge structure. The hubs or mobility functions and other uses will be decentralised on either side of the tracks. The new residential area appears rather conventional in its implementation and could possibly use a little more mixed use. A striking feature is the wide "green belt" that divides the planned area into two areas and is to be used for multifunctional purposes. Overall, the work is characterised by a pleasant pragmatism and sense of reality. It also hints at further approaches, such as participatory design and use of the residential environment. The representational Duktus is also appropriate and successful.

The work was supervised by Prof. Dr. Gunther Laux.

Recognition (400 €) Anucia Dixon & Janine Schöttinger | KIT Karlsruhe

The design proposes to activate Nürnberger Straße and to develop a mobility interchange for Bad Cannstatt. Mobility hubs are created at Wilhelmsplatz and the Nürnberger Straße S-Bahn stop, while the neighbourhoods themselves are traffic-calmed and equipped with additional smaller hubs. On Nürnberger Strasse, green spaces for public use and zoning for use are planned so that a boulevard or shared space with different functions can be formed. A "Radallee" links the boulevard of Nürnberger Straße with the green spaces of the Kurpark. The work tries to create a central place in the existing urban network with a square situation via the hub. The concept pursues the thesis that Nürnberger Straße is no longer needed and can therefore be deconstructed and redesigned into an urban boulevard. On the city boulevard, open space qualities are consistently created, and there is an intensive examination of the street space. The question arises whether the conspicuous roofing of the hub represents a sufficient intervention at the site. It is therefore critically discussed whether the proposed measures do not rather lead to a symbolically aestheticising instead of a substantial upgrading.

The work was supervised by Prof. Dr. Barbara Engel, Sara Reichwein & Anna Kuzyshyn.


Pia Thissen | KIT Karlsruhe The work was supervised by Prof. Dr. Barbara Engel, Sara Reichwein and Anna Kuzyshyn.

Fabian Lippert & Lennard Springmann | HS Karlsruhe The work was supervised by Prof. Susanne Dürr.

David Finger & Ilona Berger | HS Darmstadt The work was supervised by Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dita Leyh.

Philipp Deilmann & Johannes Pojtinger | Universität Stuttgart The work was supervised by Anna Kübler.

Verena Leser, Leonie Geis, Lukas Nerb & Selina Reinhardt | HTWG Konstanz The work was supervised by Prof. Leonhard Schenk & Jeronimo Andura.

Marcel Braun, Philemon Bühler, Kai-David Hertfelder & Robert Heimsch | HFT Stuttgart The work was supervised by Prof. Dr. Philipp Dechow.

Daniel Klaus & Jan Tondera | HFT Stuttgart The work was supervised by Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Harald Roser and Prof. Dr. Gunther Laux.

Anja Seuchz-Wirth & Evelyn Göckler | HFT Stuttgart The work was supervised by Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Harald Roser and Prof. Dr. Gunther Laux.

Julia Müller | HFT Stuttgart The work was supervised by Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Harald Roser and Prof. Dr. Gunther Laux.

Axel Buntan | HFT Stuttgart The work was supervised by Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Harald Roser.


Joanna Parassiadis & Engin Ercetin | HFT Stuttgart The work was supervised by Prof. Dr. Philipp Dechow .

Alexander Bran | HS Darmstadt The work was supervised by Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dita Leyh.

Silas Wochele, Eileen Raußen, Tanja Krings & Dominik Schmidt | HFT Stuttgart The work was supervised by Prof. Dr. Philipp Dechow.

Hannah Bühr, Evelyn Dufner, Laura Pfeiffer & Hans Weisner | HFT Stuttgart The work was supervised by Prof. Dr. Gunther Laux, Michael Glück, Olaf Hildebrandt and Dipl.-Ing. Malte Novak.

Sophie Eitner | HS Darmstadt The work was supervised by Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dita Leyh.

Ceren Isbilir | HS Darmstadt The work was supervised by Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dita Leyh.

Publish date: 24. January 2022 By Annabel Angus ()