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Figures central to Germany's overall development, such as Alvar Aalto, Zaha Hadid and Hans Scharoun, shaped Wolfsburg's urban development.

The first squad of the architecture and urban planning of that time - Reichow, Baumgarten, Scharoun, Aalto, Oesterlen - planned and built here. In a completely new urban structure, with practically no built models, outstanding individual architectures became points of crystallization and identification. They are worth a visit, because today they are among the most important architectural monuments of their time in Germany.

In 1958, the idea was born to commission the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, who had realized his first project in Germany for the Berlin "Interbau", to design the cultural center on Rathausplatz. Based on the positive experience with the supposed "architect star," groundbreaking architectural projects followed in the coming decades. With Hans Scharoun's theater on the Klieversberg, the neighboring planetarium by GDR engineer Ulrich Müther, the 1990s art museum on Hollerplatz, the Alvar Aalto House of Culture and, most recently, Zaha Hadid's spectacular concrete sculpture phaeno at the north end of the city center, a "string of pearls of cultural buildings" was created step by step along the central city axis.

Current architecture

Outstanding architecture is a trademark of Wolfsburg, and commitment to building culture is an integral part of this city. A livable environment is not created by a few lighthouse projects. It is precisely the good "everyday architecture" that essentially shapes a city. The entertaining mix of current images is intended to open the eyes to the many worthwhile building projects that have been implemented in Wolfsburg in the last ten years or are still in progress - from the refectory to the sports hall, from the bridge to the playground. By far the largest proportion of buildings in a city are residential architectures. And here, too, it is often worth taking a second look in Wolfsburg!

The auditorium of the Heinrich Nordhoff Comprehensive School
Lars Landmann
The Kerkenkita in Ehmen
Lars Landmann
The playground summerland at the Allersee
Lars Landmann
The sports hall of the New School
Lars Landmann
  • Alvar Aalto
    Ingervo / Alvar Aalto Museum

    Along with Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, the Finn Alvar Aalto (1898 to 1976) is one of the five most important architects of the 20th century.

    His conception of architecture is essentially determined by the emotional design of space. After neoclassical and functional beginnings in the 1920s and 1930s, Alvar Aalto found his own style. Characteristic motifs are the wave, the fan, the sloping roof and the round column as a space-structuring element. In a typical way, function and form are combined to form a unity of design.

    Alvar Aalto left behind a very extensive body of work with more than 500 projects - around half of which were actually built. Outside Finland, too, a large number of different buildings bear witness to a long and intensive design activity. Alvar Aalto built in the USA, Iceland, Italy, France and Switzerland. He designed projects for Iraq and Iran and left his mark on the young Federal Republic of Germany.

    In a long period of planning and building activity between 1958 and 1965, the Finnish architect left behind a significant body of work in Wolfsburg that is hard to match outside Scandinavia. With the Alvar Aalto Culture House at the Town Hall Market (1958 to 1962) as well as the Heilig-Geist Community Center at Klieversberg (1959 to 1962) and the Stephanus Church in the Detmerode district (1962 to 1968), three of the six buildings that Alvar Aalto was able to realize in Germany can be found in Wolfsburg. Few people know that he also participated in the competition for the Wolfsburg Theater in 1965 with an extensive urban planning contribution, which was won, however, by Hans Scharoun.

  • Zaha Hadid
    Lars Landmann

    The London architect Zaha Hadid (1950-2016) is undisputedly one of the great masters of contemporary architecture. Her works are always uncompromising, surprising and novel. With each building, she has pushed the boundaries of architectural design and thinking a little further out into uncharted territory - in the technical, spatial or functional fields.

    In 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize. It is considered the Nobel Prize of architects. For the phæno in Wolfsburg, Zaha Hadid designed a building that attracted international attention even at the planning stage. The impressive structure towers high above the street and exposes the space below to the public as a new kind of urban space, designed as a covered artificial landscape with rolling hills and valleys. Inside, at a height of seven meters, the world of experiments unfolds, a structural adventure land with many surprises, formed by craters, caves, terraces and plateaus, densely populated by 250 experimental stations. The shape is program at phæno: The world of phæno knows no clear boundaries, its moving landscape awakens the desire to discover. It is built movement, built curiosity.

  • Hans Scharoun
    Fritz Rust

    The Berlin architect Hans Scharoun (1893-1972) left behind a complex body of work, from which his residential buildings, school architecture and theater designs stand out. He is considered one of the most imaginative architects of Expressionism. As an alternative to the widespread rationalism of the 1920s, he advocated the idea of "organ-like building". Visionary designs originated from him. But many important projects also remained unbuilt.

    It is all the more tragic that Scharoun did not live to see the completion of his only realized theater building. The design emerged from a competition in 1965, in which Scharoun prevailed against highly esteemed colleagues such as Alvar Aalto and Jørn Utzon. After several revisions and a tough struggle for realization, the theater was ceremoniously inaugurated on October 5, 1973. Four decades later, the building at Klieversberg is established among the most important guest performance theaters in Germany. The building is the youngest architectural monument in the city of Wolfsburg. The rooms have lost none of their charm and impressive presence.

    Two of Hans Scharoun's church designs (1966 and 1969) were for a Protestant church on the Rabenberg. They were created in temporal connection with the construction of the theater, but were not realized and are largely unknown to this day.

    Hans Scharoun's attention to detail determined the construction of the Stephanus Kindergarten in Detmerode, which was built in 1967-1969. Even at the main entrance, the unusual round windows are striking. His youth in Bremerhaven, his observation of ships with their deck forms, bridges, cabins and portholes left clear traces in Scharoun's life's work.

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