Henning Larsen Architects has won the competition for a new Citizen and Media Centre in Stuttgart. The new building is prominently located in Stuttgart’s Castle Park and will form a distinctive entrance to the listed parliament building in Baden-Württemberg. The parliament attracts 65,000 visitors each year, and the new building will provide access to exhibitions and press conferences.
The Centre’s entrance is shaped like a large amphitheater, and is recessed in the ground. The round shape creates an agora in the centre, ideal for political meetings and public cultural events alike. The shape stands as an emblem of the democratic process: in ancient Greece the agora formed the centre of political and public life, as a scene for debates, meetings and temporary theatre.
“The project exemplifies how architecture can create settings for democratic processes. Visitors will have improved access to the parliament building and at the same time, the new structure will host public meetings and cultural events” says Werner Frosch, manager of the Munich office of Henning Larsen Architects.
The new centre consists of a foyer, conference spaces and a exhibition area, all visually connected to the outside agora. For security purposes, these areas can be closed off from the parliament building itself. This separation also makes it possible to host larger events at late hours, without compromising the parliament building.
The new Citizen and Media Centre is located in Stuttgart Castle Park and creates a new public space within the urban park. The surrounding landscape and ample daylight have provided inspiration for the design of the new building. Special cylindrical windows create a bright and friendly atmosphere, and filter the daylight, giving visitors the impression of walking under a big tree.