Where Stuttgart's civil engineering office used to be located, the garden and cemetery office was also to be located in the future. In order to create space for this new development, asp Architekten were commissioned to convert the existing building and expand it to become the new maintenance facility Deckerstrasse.
The maintenance facility Deckerstrasse is located on the edge of a residential area in Stuttgart Bad Cannstatt turning its "back" to a heavily used railway line. The issues of noise protection, the urban grain and the integration into the adjacent environment were therefore of particular importance in the planning process. Another challenge was that operations were not to be disrupted during construction and, in particular, that the courtyard area was to remain usable to the greatest extent possible during this time. The former embankment areas on the south-western edge of the site, which had previously only been of limited use, were converted into covered storage areas. All buildings, garages and covered storage areas can be easily accessed without affecting the storage areas in the inner courtyard area.
An individual shape is emerging
In order to connect the various uses, to anchor the different components with the topography and to minimise noise pollution for the neighbouring residential area, the planners developed the idea of a "usable garden wall". At first glance, the defining element of the maintenance facility is therefore the multitude of shelves, containers and storage areas with a wide variety of fillings.
Formally and constructively, the line of the "usable garden wall" together with the floor slabs forms a connecting structure that unfolds into an independent shape and visually and acoustically closes off the existing city block to the railway and to the south. The garages and repair shops are integrated seamlessly, forming a solid foundation for the wooden building above. The new buildings are designed to match the height and dimensions of the existing buildings along Deckerstrasse. At the southern end of the site, a three-storey high structure was developed, which connects the development with other high buildings in the neighbourhood and forms a highly visible address.
In the spirit of sustainability
The structural elements of the garden wall and foundation were made of recycled concrete and can be read from the outside as solid building components. The rear side facing the railway tracks was designed as a mostly closed wall. The "shelf structure" that is visible from the courtyard side is "filled" with different spatial structures depending on their requirements. This creates protrusions and recesses using prefabricated wooden elements as a renewable material. Semi-open and closed wooden slats at different distances with glazing and gates form entrances or canopies in front of the garages.
The structure of the "usable garden wall" also makes it possible to preserve the large broadleaf trees on the property. Compensatory plantings were added for the shrubs on the former embankment areas. The roof areas are designed as extensive green roofs. In terms of construction, the design team ensured that the building components, with their reduced, raw and untreated materiality, were installed in a way that allows them to be eventually separated in a clean and reusable way.
Focus on the entire facility
The main access to the site is via a wide ramp that leads down to the service yard, which is about 2.5 metres lower. A second ramp, leaning against the main ramp, provides access to the parking spaces located approx. 1.5 m higher on the roof of the outdoor storage areas. The main access to the administration of the premises is easily accessible below the front of the new administration building along the railway line.
The interior rooms for the employees are located above the foundation made of recycled concrete. Native woods on the façade and in the interior form a warm contrast to the industrial architecture and make the social function of the rooms visible to the outside as well. Facing the courtyard, the community rooms and the cafeteria are located on the upper floor of the new main building. The back of the new building, facing the railway, houses service areas such as storage, kitchen and archive. Office, meeting and training rooms are located at the front of the first floor and offer an overview of the entire premises.
The contrast of rather rough materials such as exposed concrete and steel grids on the one hand and elements made of wood on the other is also continued in the interior. For example, walls with cladding of maritime pine absorb the open ceilings, or walls of exposed concrete meet large-scale windows with maritime pine frames. Generally, the rooms are characterised by a high degree of openness and transparency. The wooden slats on the façade provide protection from the sun, but still bathe the rooms in sufficient soft daylight.