The Österreichische Platz is situated at the periphery of Stuttgart‘s (Germany) city centre . It’s an odd roundabout that basically hasn’t changed in 40 years. Surrounded by but disconnected from express ways, it is currently used as a parking lot and a meeting place for dodgy characters. After years of neglect, it has sunk into oblivion or at best into a state of limbo.
That could all change. The process of growing dilapidation and the monotonous rhythm and character of those freeways could be interrupted by 55 shipping containers stacked up on top of each other. German designer Lars Behrendt has conceived of an incredible building called the Lotto Turm (Lotto Tower). The vision is that over a period of 5-10 years, this temporary tower will enhance the image and status of this city quarter – by creating an appealing new centre of attraction and providing a home for a lively, colourful multi-use mix development.
The use of shipping containers as construction design and spatial elements lends itself to the temporary nature of the project. In addition, containers also offer an economical realisation in terms of finance and time, and they allow for a fast, traceless deconstruction of the building.
The complex will be divided into two parts: an inner courtyard, shielded from traffic and noise, and the soaring, aerial tower, which is crowned by a big ball inside of which lotto numbers will be drawn. Access will be provided via a staged path that winds around the tower. In addition the different levels can also be reached through a stairway. The building will be accessible to the public on all levels, including the very top.
The Lotto Turm will offer a smorgasbord of different uses designed as zones. There will be a green double-storey element in form of a park, differently sized terraces, niches and stairs, a ‘capsule’ hotel, a people’s office and even a Lovetainer. In other words: the Lotto Turm as a whole will represent a conglomeration of diverse requirements and opportunities. Those behind the project draw parallels to the plentitude of different activities in Jacques Tati´s Play Time or the Wimmelbildern by Ali Mitgutsch; both offer scores of opportunities for discoveries.
Our surroundings have the potential to galvanise us, to shake us up – by being provocative or even causing irritation, bringing a smile to our face, letting us see our deepest yearnings, desires and aspirations, stimulating our fantasy, bringing to life our curiosity, and exposing qualities that clarify connections. In other words: the release of emotions will be triggered. And all of these thoughts, concepts and ideas form the background behind the Lotto Turm.
This tower aims at allowing qualities of surprise and longing to be experienced through the means of architecture. Through it, Stuttgart and its citizens will not only witness the enrichment of public space but also be given the experience of a vital and vivid impulse of being alive.
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