Stuttgart, a city located in Germany’s southwest, is renowned as a hub of manufacturing. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche both have HQs and museums here. Though despite this association with automobile assembly, Stuttgart is surprisingly, incredibly green. And when it comes to seeking design inspiration, it offers ample, by way of its architecture, museums, and art galleries.
When Smile Plastics’ directors Rosalie and Adam were invited to speak at the LIGAconvent, it seemed the perfect opportunity to put together a guide to Stuttgart by Design. So, without further ado, here are their top picks from a weekend of exploration.
Choosing somewhere to lay ones’ head is no problem in Stuttgart – there are plenty of options. But we recommend the beautiful EmiLu design hotel in the city centre. The rooms are wonderful, and the breakfast is even better. And the building’s features are a design lover’s dream. Just look at the staircase…
The hotel also has a rooftop lounge and bar with beautiful views of the surrounding city.
On our doorstep
Just a short wander from EmiLu is a local fruit and veg market, with vibrant, fresh produce brimming from every stall.
We also encountered some stunning architecture in this area, including the Stiftskirche church.
A very welcome feature of the city is access to free drinking water everywhere you go. This helps cut down on the volume of single use plastic bottles being used, while keeping everyone hydrated. A win-win!
To dos & sees that made us smile
Stuttgart is a very culturally rich city, with fascinating art and artefacts for those that seek them. First up, we visited Landesmuseum Wurttemberg, situated in Schlossplatz. From clocks to glass, musical instruments to the cultural history of the local area, there’s plenty to be discovered about Stuttgart here.
In the entrance, there is a café and information desk sporting very nice lava stone detail – we had to take a snap.
The Kunstmuseum is currently hosting the largest and most comprehensive exhibition devoted to the work of Tobias Rehberger in the region to date. The exhibit includes his sculptures, pictures, and installations – “Rehberger sets everyday objects and spatial structures into unexpected combinations, thus giving them a new interpretation.”
“Gego. The Architecture of an Artist” is dedicated to the work of Gertrud Goldschmidt. The exhibition primarily focuses on Gego’s study years in Stuttgart as well as highlighting the entwined relationship between her work and architecture.
We were also particularly taken with some of the Kunstmuseum’s permanent collection, including Thomas Lenk’s aluminium sculpture, an entire room made from sweet smelling beeswax by Wolfgang Laib, plus a piece made entirely of wax titled The Sun by Michael Buthe, and Yellow, Written as Two Words – soap and ink on canvas – by Myriam Holme (see images anticlockwise from BR – TL).
And this set of work by Hannah Zenger – a Stuttgart-based sculptor that operates at the “intersection of free art and science.” Here is her installation using different types of clays, different shades of biomass ashes and biomass extracts.
Stuttgart is in a valley enclosed with steep hills and breath-taking views. Before our trip came to an end, we headed to the north for a swim and an amble. Taking a moment to look up, we spotted an aeroplane sending us a message.
We left the city feeling culturally buoyed and inspirationally enthused by all we’d seen and done. We also had a strong inkling this wouldn’t be our last visit to Stuttgart. It really is a fantastic city.
Is there anything you’d add to our founding directors tour of Stuttgart? Or would you like to contribute a tour of your home city? Let us know!