Stadelhofen Railway Station
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Architect Santiago Calatrava
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Location Zurich, Switzerland   map
Date 1983 to 1984   timeline
Building Type transportation terminal, railway station
 Construction System steel frames and glass
Climate cold temperate
Context urban
Style Modern
Notes Graceful curving glass-roofed canopy developed with counterpoised steel.


Photo, exterior with platform

Photo, interior space


Available on The GBC CD-ROM.   Contributions appreciated

Discussion Stadelhofen Railway Station Commentary

"Unlikely as it sounds, the messy, open-ended and conflicting features of the Stadelhofen site and brief appear in retrospect to have supplied ideal stimulus to Calatrava's structural inventiveness and wit. The site is a large rent or rupture in the fabric of the city caused by the overlay of remnants of the old system of city walls and an intrusive but brief eruption of railway tracks above ground.

"The plot both slopes and curves along more than one axis. An abrupt change of level from east to west, a gentle incline and then decline from north to south, and a sharp lateral curve in the tracks the whole way across the site add up to a geometrical nightmare or, as it turned out, a series of spatial opportunities."

—Robert Harbison with Paolo Rosselli, photographs. Creatures from the Mind of the Engineer: The Architecture of Santiago Calatrava. p2-3.

"As part of the local railway network, Stadelhofen Station must accommodate the heavy traffic expected in the next few years. As a result, a third track is being added along with an adjacent trackless platform. The main structural components are the protective wall, which is set back from the platforms, the gallery which covers the railway on the side nearest the mountain, the newly erected bridge connections and a retail level which acts as an underpass to the intermediate track.

"The duality of the mountain and the valley, which arises from the positioning of the railway line, is emphasised by the structural elements in between. Light steel bridges connect both areas. The remaining elements of the station, the roofs above the tracks and the canopies etc., combine to convey the greatest possible unity."

—from Werner Blaser, ed. Santiago Calatrava: Engineering Architecture. p48.

The Creator's Words

"This large-scale attack on the urban landscape is characterised by the organisation and repetition on the part of the constructive element."

—Santiago Calatrava. from Werner Blaser, ed. Santiago Calatrava: Engineering Architecture. p48.


concrete: 22 000 cubic meters
reinforced concrete: 2000 tonnes
form work: 53 000 square meters
boring stakes: 500 meters
insulation: 8000 square meters

Sources on Stadelhofen Railway Station

Werner Blaser, ed. Santiago Calatrava: Engineering Architecture. Second Edition, revised and extended. Berlin: Birkhauser Verlag, 1990. ISBN 3-7643-2460-0. NA1313.C35S26 1990. discussion, p48.

Donald Corner and Jenny Young. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1842.31. PCD.2260.1012.1842.30

Robert Harbison, with Paolo Rosselli, photographs. Creatures from the Mind of the Engineer: The Architecture of Santiago Calatrava. Zurich: Architectural Publishers Artemis Verlags AG, 1992. ISBN 3-7608-8083-2. NA1313.C35H37 1992. discussion, p2-3.

Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. New York: Facts on File, 1990. ISBN 0-8160-2438-3. NA680.S517. exterior photo, small section drawing, p384. — Available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Stadelhofen Railway Station


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