Ernst Gisel - Switzerland
Town Hall Fellbach
Kirchhofstrasse, Fellbach
1979 - 1986

Fellbach is a relatively large county town, located near the city of Stuttgart. Fellbach has experienced a rapid development, especially after the Second World War
and most recently with the incorporation of the two suburbs Schmiden and Oeffingen in the early 1970s. Already in 1965 was formulated the intention, to give the
much increased community a new city centre. What concerns this intention, five architects were aksed for an advisory opinion, as a base for the competition,
which was launched in 1979. The town hall is the last and most important urban planning measure to realize the new city centre. The other projects were the
Schwabenlandhalle, the Living City and the Congress Hotel.

The design by Ernst Gisel is the concise answer to the task of the competition program, wich asked to define a specific place in the heterogenous environment
and to create a new new city centre which should be a new place of identification for the residents. Ernst Gisel resisted to put a monument for
bureaucracy and
suggest a high-rise building.
Instead the architect tried to integrate the new building according to the scale of the town, and proposed to articulate several
exterior spaces and to integrate additional uses, so that the city centre could act as a place of encounter.

The volumes of the complex are all of three stories without exception. The arrangement of the structure follows the intention to create a sequence of open spaces.
On the east side, between the stepped main facade and the Cannstatter Strasse is located the marketplace. This square is limited to the north bei the choir of the old
Lutheran Church and to the south by the corresponding counterpart, the extension of one of the town hall wings and the council chamber. The main wings of the
town hall are oriented corresponding to the Lutheran Church. Together with two crossbars they create the town hall square. This square is dominated by a solitary volume
of a plastically shaped figure. This volume houses the arge council hall on the first floor. Adjacent to the old cemetary there opens a garden courtyard. Along the north side
and in front of the western elevation of the Lutheran Church was created a new church square with trees.

The exterior skin of the building consist of yellow bricks, combined with granite. In contrast to the austere facade finer materials were used in the interior.
 In the public areas the floors consist of natural stone and the walls are made of colored hard gypsum. Centrepiece of the internal organization of the complex is
the three-story foyer, which gives acces to the meeting rooms, the area of the mayor, the parliamentary group rooms and the various departments.

The town hall won several architectural awards, among them the important german Hugo Häring prize. In 2014 the building was declared a cultural monument.
At this time not even 30 years old, the town hall was one of the youngest cultural monuments of the region Baden-Württemberg. In a ceremony taking place in
the great hall, the quality of the building was honored and the building was referred as an almost perfect piece of architecture.