The City of Stuttgart has appointed the two studios Simon Jones Studio and Matheson Whiteley to redesign the entrance and ground floor public spaces of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart. The London-based design team is supported by local architects härtner ito architekten. The redevelopment is funded by the City of Stuttgart and will be completed mid-2018 to coincide with the 40th jubilee of Künstlerhaus.
Since its formation in 1978 within a former luggage factory, the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart has been a space for artistic production and exchange. It comprises an exhibition programme of contemporary art alongside a studio and workshop programme. An artist-run café and bar operated from the ground-floor during its first decades of activity. This successfully provided a key meeting point and space of exchange for the local artistic community. Through a process of research and dialogue, this original café and bar emerged as an important precedent for the present design team, guiding the redevelopment project.
Simon Jones’s and Matheson Whiteley’s proposal has three objectives: Firstly, to re-establish the main Künstlerhaus entrance directly from Reuchlinstraße, restoring connections between the studios, exhibition spaces and workshops. Secondly, to address the changing nature of creative work, providing visitors and audiences with a new public space for meeting and working at a moment of high-rent and scarce studio space. And thirdly, to create a new bar and gastronomy, which will cater to the artistic community and local neighbourhood, providing a social space, hangout and meeting point with regular concerts, events and performances.
The Künstlerhaus Stuttgart redevelopment project was initiated as part of the curatorial programme of Artistic Director Fatima Hellberg with the support of the Künstlerhaus’ board. The project reflects upon the history and spirit of the institution, identifying ways in which its founding roles and ambitions can inform the present moment. The rebuild coincides with four decades of artistic work and exhibition making, experimentation and knowledge production at Künstlerhaus and seeks to nurture the avant-garde legacy of the institution, while addressing current needs for a social and public space in the city of Stuttgart.