Santiago Calatrava 1990
Calatrava's challenge at Stadelhofen was to
accommodate a new third track in an existing train station built for 300 meters along a
curved railway line running round a hillside in the town center. Calatrava's design has
excavated the hillside to add the track, and then built the hillside back with a
multilevel structure that restores the walkways and bank above, while providing an open,
naturally lit platform underneath for the new track.
While the station is largely hidden from view as
you approach from the town centre, there is a surprising variety of perspectives within
the station itself. Walkways extend along the length of the track at four levels: the
platforms themselves, an underground arcade beneath them, a cantilevered concrete
promenade re-forming the hillside above the new platform (see photograph above), and the
original hillside above that.
Impressive three-armed steel supports support
the promenade every nine meters, designed to keep the promenade in position even if two of
the supports are knocked out of place by a wayward train.
Perhaps the only disappointment in these layers
of steel and concrete engineering is that the pergola created by the top layer of steel
trusses has accumulated almost no greenery ten years after the station was completed.
Simon Glynn 2000 (updated 2004)
How to visit
Swiss Railways operates regional train services through Stadelhofen.
However, the station is only for regional lines, and is not the main station in Zurich.
You can reach it from the main station in about 10-15 minutes by tram (No. 11, going
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