Stuttgart's Cultural Mile, Germany

James Stirling and Michael Wilford.
Date Built
1984 - 2002 (the design stage dates from 1977)
Arranged along Konrad-Adenauer-Straße in Stuttgart is a collection of cultural buildings beginning with the Alte Staatsgalerie.  Four of these buildings were designed by James Stirling and Michael Wilford.  These buildings at first glance appear to be one large building since they have a degree of continuity.  They are difficult to categorize on this website since they do not fit nicely into any one decade.  Design and construction began in the 1980s and the last building was finished in 2002.  The buildings are shown in the plan below.

A: Neue Staatsgalerie - State Art Gallery        B: Kammertheatre - Chamber Theatre
C: Haus der Geschichte - House of History    
D: Staatliche Hochschule fur music und darstellende kunst - State University for music and performing arts.

A:  Neue Staatsgalerie

It would probably come as no surprise to hear that the design of the Staatsgalerie provoked controversy.  The E-Architect website explains that, "... The design of the building provoked a vivid debate about postmodernism and German architecture. Postmodernism design moved away from “form follows function” and used elements from classical architecture often out of context, something made possible by new building methods and materials.  The design of the Neue Staatsgalerie has largely been credited to James Stirling (1926-92) and is considered one of his most important pieces of work."

Stirling and Wilford's Neue Staatsgalerie is connected to the Alte Staatsgalerie by way of a bridge glimpsed in the image below behind the head of the Henry Moore sculpture.

The gallery's own view, expressed on their website, is that, "... In his design, Stirling celebrated architecture as the art of building by incorporating many elements of the imposing and monumental style typical of museums in the 19th century. The strict U-shaped arrangement of the galleries corresponding to the layout of the neo-classicistic Alte Staatsgalerie, the open-air rotunda in the center of the new building reminiscent of the Alte Museum in Berlin designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the Colosseum with its colossal ensemble of columns, gables, architraves, and stone facings all emphasize the function of the museum as a public building.  Stirling’s epoch-defining achievement is grounded in the combination of these historical elements with the modern vocabulary of forms associated with functionalistic architecture such as colored steel structures, exposed concrete, and curving members. "

B: Kammertheatre

The Kammertheater or Chamber Theatre (on the left of the image below) opened on 25 September 1983 as part of the New State Gallery.  It is the venue for smaller opera, ballet and drama productions.

C:  Haus der Geschichte


The museum entrance is shown on the right of the image below.


D: Staatliche Hochschule fur music und darstellende kunst

As the RIBA website explains, the music school, "... completed the sequence of buildings in the urban masterplan conceived for Stuttgart’s ‘Cultural Mile'."  Completed in 1984 this building's shapes and materials complement those of the other building on the site.  " The school has nine floors with accommodation for students and the public. The chamber music/lecture hall and the 450-seat concert hall and library are found in the main focus of the building – the cylindrical tower on the plaza, which bulges out on either side and registers the presence of the music school on the city’s skyline. The roof terrace provides spectacular views of the city."