"Bahnhofstrasse"<br>Esslingen / GER
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29. May 2024


Creative mission

  • Street in the Street - From Traffic Lane
  • to Pedestrian Area

Project data

Client City of Esslingen
Award Preis für beispielhaftes Bauen (AKBW) 1991-2001
Region Europe
Typology Public Spaces / Landscape Planning
Planungszeitraum 1997 - 1997
Field size 0,4 ha
Cooperation partner
  • Baudezernat Esslingen Stadtplanungs- und Stadtmessungsamt, Tiefbauamt; Schlaich Bergermann und Partner GbR; Dipl.-Ing. Klaus Begasse; Initiative Bahnhofstraße


As a well frequented and representative street from the 19th century, Bahnhofstrasse in Esslingen connects the train station and the city centre. It has an important function as a shopping area and as an entrance to the city. The street has been dominated by traffic. During the past decades, the attractiveness of post-war-buildings and shops declined rapidly, which is why the street should offer space for shopping, strolling and communing. Urban qualities such as a wide public space, variable usage, different experiences and the networking with other parts of the city are major tasks of the design. The street regains its function as a stage for public life through the celebration of the public space and the urban experience.

Initial Attempt
In 1992, house-owners and shopkeepers united as "Initiative Bahnhofstraße" to search together with STADTBAUATELIER and the town administration for a vision of a functional and atmospheric enhancement.

15 gate-like multipurpose-beams create an atmospheric space in the city centre - a transparent sub-space. They lend their own specific identity to the whole pedestrian precinct. Carrying the lighting and temporarily hung decoration as flags, they play an important role in the atmosphere of the street.
Design guidelines for the whole area and joint actions of different shops are completing the concept.

Design Guidelines
Private furnishing of the Bahnhofstrasse with tables, chairs, parasols and advertising media are regulated by the following rules:
- Elements of furniture are allowed only in the areas defined for special use.
- Building and shop entrances, as well as shop windows, have to stay clear along their full width.
- Deviation from these rules is only permissible through the express approval of the planning authorities