Master Thesis | Anna-Lena Mergenthaler | 4th Semester | Summer Semester 2021

The city center is the hub of our society. Public spaces form the basic framework of our cities. They create spaces to stay, to be active and to meet, thus fulfilling numerous functions for society and the neighborhoods. They are cultural and political places. They can be identity-forming and shape the character and image of a city. For a long time, the inner city was a place of action, the urban market and its engine. This is where people were meeting, working and living. But in recent years, a homogenization of functions has occured in city centers. Large shopping malls, retail chains, traffic and business centers have displaced the varied and small-scale use. The rise of online-retail is another factor contributing to downtown desolation. At the same time, the diversity of social groups and milieus is greater than ever and the city is challenged to come up to its crucial role as a meeting and living space. The "Urban Kingdom" examines their current needs and tries to integrate numerous daily functions in the structural design of a department store in downtown Stuttgart by exclusively adding recycled, natural or sustainable materials. 

The project was supervised by Mike Herud and Prof. Jens Betha.