the stadthaus is ...
… an international milestone of modern urban architecture!

It is a hospitable, friendly exhibition space and event hall, for current issues from the fields of culture, social affairs, medicine, science, economy, media and politics, it is a café and restaurant, a contact point for tourists, and more. The video-portrait (12 Min.) provides a detailed overview.

The “correct” way to build on the Münsterplatz has been a matter of debate for a century before the Stadthaus was built.  

It all started with the demolition of the derelict former 13th century monastery. The cathedral was to dominate the square. In 1890, the spire was finally completed, making it the tallest church spire of Christianity. But now the cathedral was intimidating, the square much too big, the people too small. A problem that needed to be solved. 17 architecture competitions and proposals are documented, as well as several false starts and heated public debates. The publication Welt called the square “one of the most delicate building sites in Germany and maybe in the history of architecture in Germany.” (Dankwart Guratzsch, 25.11.1986)

 The competition in 1986 was to be the last. On 15 November 1986, the jury selected the proposal by New York architect Richard Meier as the winner, causing both a storm protest and enthusiasm, and the first referendum in the history of Ulm. There were 3000 more votes against the proposal, but not enough citizens had cast their vote. The town council was not bound by public opinion, the opposition had lost. At the end of 1993, the Stadthaus was finally inaugurated. Since 2019, it is classified as an important cultural monument (historical heritage).

The Stadthaus is one of the most important European buildings designed by Richard Meier, who was causing a stir with the Getty Center in Los Angeles around the same time.

Two of the passionate citizens of Ulm documented the construction, as can be seen in: 

Das Stadthaus - die GeneseThe unique collection of slides by Martin Rivoir. From breaking ground in 1991 to the spring of 1993. (21:55 Min)

Ulm Stadtmitte - Stadthaus. Super-8 film by Hans-Wolfgang Gronle, 1991 - 1993. (22:22 Min)