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Green oasis in Stuttgart's city center - the new Calwer Passage

reading time - 7 min

The Calwer Passage is the new eye-catcher in the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart. The passage, which is a heritage listed building, reopened in 2023 with a new concept and has since become the "place to be" in the city center. BESCO supplied regional european granite for the redesign of the outdoor facilities.

Several years of renovation work make the Calwer Passage shine in new light

Between 2018 and 2022, the mall underwent a comprehensive redesign. The upper part of the building from the 1970s was demolished and replaced by a new green building with up to seven storeys. Only the heritage listed glass passage and some parts of the basement were spared by the demolition excavators and are still preserved today. After several years of renovation work, the building complex now shines in new splendor: today, the Calwer Passage is home to various stores, cafés and restaurants and invites residents and visitors to stroll and linger. In addition, the basement floors serve as an integral part of the lively Stadtmitte S-Bahn station. The upper floors are used as office and residential space.


Mixed forest and green facade shape the new image of Stuttgart’s city center

The impressive facades of the residential and commercial building were planted with climbing and hanging plants. 2,000 planters with 11,000 seedlings of different plant species were placed in a special construction in front of the building facade. The plants were planted horizontally and vertically. In order not to impair the incoming light, the planting density in front of the offices was moderate and all the denser in front of the stairwells. Probably the most distinctive element is a small mixed forest on the roof of the mall. The trees are already visible from Stuttgart’s streets and underline the impression of a green oasis in the middle of the city. In addition, a spacious hilly landscape with terraces and a herb meadow invites visitors to relax and daydream. Each plant species was selected according to where it grows on the facade or roof and the specific conditions on site. Different leaves, flower shapes and colors create an inspiring, positive and healthy working and living atmosphere all year round.


Stores, cafés and restaurants invite visitors to stroll and linger


Facade greening improves microclimate and scores with many other benefits

The green facades and roofs have created a vibrant urban space that promotes a natural and healthy climate. This is achieved by the green areas binding carbon dioxide and dust, reducing noise, promoting biodiversity and improving people’s general well-being. They have their greatest impact by reducing the urban heat effect and storing rainwater. Compared to conventional surfaces, which heat up considerably, especially in summer, and release some of the absorbed heat over a longer period of time, green surfaces act as efficient energy converters. They always remain slightly cooler than the air temperature and thus help to minimize the inner-city heat effect. This counteracts the well-known summer overheating of heavily built-up areas, also known as the “urban heat island” effect. Overall, greenery makes a decisive contribution to improving the local microclimate and enhancing the quality of life in urban areas.


Natural stone and the experience of nature – the aesthetic symbiosis

As part of the construction work for the new building and the sealing work on the existing underground parking garage and underpass, Calwer Platz was also extensively redesigned. Pfrommer + Roeder Freie Landschaftsarchitekten planned the redesign of the outdoor facilities. The entire area was cleared and given a new surface of bonded belgrano® granite paving with a passé bond. The two-tone natural stone paving, supplied by BESCO Berliner Steincontor GmbH, blends harmoniously into the natural, modern and distinctive design of the revitalized Calwer Passage. The belgrano® granite not only impresses with its durability, but also with its timeless elegance and natural beauty.

The Calwer Passage shines with its green elements and also thanks to the belgrano® natural stone, which is not only aesthetically pleasing, but is also characterized by its tested resistance to frost and de-icing salt. This is invaluable, especially in the cold Stuttgart winters. In addition, belgrano® granite is extremely robust and durable, making it ideal for a busy square in a lively city center. The architecturally distinctive pioneering project will serve as a groundbreaking example for a greener future in Stuttgart. The use of belgrano® natural stone from regional european sources underlines the uniqueness of this revitalized shopping center as one of the most sustainable building materials and completes the overall picture.


Bonded belgrano® natural stone paving in passé bond


The Calwer Passage – once the most modern shopping center in Germany

Opened in 1978 as a new office and commercial building for Allgemeine Rentenanstalt, Calwer Passagen was considered the most modern shopping center in Germany at the time. As part of the urban redevelopment of Calwer Straße, the building was converted into a pedestrian zone with a suburban train connection as a prestigious project. The heritage listed structure of the Calwer Passage was retained and, with around 20 small stores, will continue to offer ideal opportunities for owner-managed retail in a prime city center location in the future.

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