A chance to work on a competition for a new railway station in Stuttgart with young German architect Worner + Partner came through Wolf Mangelsdorf, who joined aha in June 1997.
Stuttgart's station is a massive piece of early twentieth-century National Romanticism designed by Paul Bonatz as a terminal. German Railways wants to turn it into a through station, turning the track through 90degrees and selling off redundant track lands to pay for the works which involve a new tunnel. It is part of the inter-city express network of high-speed trains between Munich and Hamburg. Bonatz's building will sit alongside the track rather than at its end.
The new track will be in a tunnel. Worners proposed to cover it with a glass roof 7-8m above ground, rising to about 12m at the centre of the 100m span arch. The idea was to get as much natural daylight in as possible, effectively disguising that it is an underground station. The roof structure was to be as simple and minimal as possible, and its grid would have tied into the gird of the very different, massively structured Bonatz building to make an entity, and to make sense of keeping it in the first place. The competition was eventually won by Christoph Ingenhoven, with aha's scheme placed second.