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Stadelhofen Station
Stadelhofen Square

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.

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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 south).

Books and other web sites

Click the book title to view and to order direct from


3822878839_m.gif (13082 bytes) Santiago Calatrava
Philip Jodidio

Good illustrations, but a limited selection of projects

3764356278_m.gif (7764 bytes) Calatrava: Public Buildings

Santiago Calatrava, Stanislaus Von Moos (Editor)

Comprehensive and well illustrated, and priced to match (though well discounted at amazon)


Calatrava's own web site describes the building at

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