Schwarzatal, Bahnhof Rottenbach

A Gateway to Schwarzatal

The train hopefully still runs, but the train station building stands empty: a typical situation in rural areas. The town of Königsee on the edge of Schwarzatal, historically shaped by tourism, agriculture, and medium-sized businesses, was also affected. However, the train station in the district of Rottenbach is an important transportation hub, with many travelers arriving here.

Then the municipality acquired the train station building from Deutsche Bahn and saved it from decay. Together, the former mayor and the community considered: What to do with this former gem? Since many public facilities in Rottenbach, such as schools, restaurants, and shops, had to close since the 1990s, 40 willing individuals founded a cooperative in 2015 to set up a shop in the train station on their own. In addition, the connection of the train station to public transportation was to be improved. These visions fit with the project call ›Future CityLand!‹ of IBA Thüringen 2014, which aimed to support construction projects with a sense of common good with their expertise. Since 2015, IBA has been cooperating with the town and the cooperative on the project.

Bahnhof Rottenbach_Ansicht Süd_Baubüro Lehninger
The historically accurate renovation of the train station building was carried out by the Baubüro Lehninger from Gotha.
Bahnhofladen Rottenbach_Illustration K2L Architekten
The design for the railway station shop comes from K3L Architecture & Design from Leipzig and the architecture and engineering firm Lindig-Herbst-Lichtenheld from Rudolstadt.
BahnHofladen Rottenbach_Foto Thomas Mueller
The special feature of the new store is that it will be flexibly used for sales or as a meeting place for citizens. The project demonstrates a very high level of civic engagement by the local people. Because the members of the ›Bahn-Hofladen eG‹ cooperative actively participated in the design and development of the project.
Bahnhof Rottenbach im Juli 2019_Foto Thomas Mueller
The opening of the Bahn-Hofladen in July 2019.

Before the efforts of the community and stakeholders could bear fruit, the train station and its forecourt had to be renovated. First, the Stadt Königsee, in collaboration with the IBA Thuringia and the LEADER action group Saalfeld-Rudolstadt e. V., commissioned an idea study for the new transportation hub and forecourt. The design STADTLAND:INSELN by atelier le balto was favored. The forecourt was then expanded in 2017 and once again serves as a transportation hub for buses, trains, cars, and bicycles. Regional traditions were incorporated into the design: Four landscape islands break up the asphalt, picket fences surround farm gardens that are maintained by the cooperative.

Vorplatz Bahnhof Rottenbach Foto:Thomas Müller
The train station square is typical of the region: materials such as wood and slate and green islands surrounded by picket fences reflect the landscape of the surrounding area.
STADTLAND INSELN_Studie von atelier le balto
The train station square in Rottenbach was realized according to designs by atelier le balto.
The entire area of the Bahnhof Rottenbach will be complemented by a multifunctional building by Atelier ST in collaboration with Baumann Architecture. The multifunctional building will also function as a community center. The planned building is intended to fit equally simply and familiarly into the train station ensemble. Visualization: Atelier ST.

The historically appropriate renovation of the building began in 2016 by the Baubüro Lehninger from Gotha. In 2017, a student architecture competition held by the Bauhaus University Weimar and the University of Applied Sciences Leipzig provided initial ideas for the design of the planned Bahn-Hofladen, which were revised multiple times and eventually realized. K3L Architektur + Design, a young office from Leipzig that was founded by students after the competition, worked together with the architecture and engineering firm Lindig-Herbst-Lichtenheld from Rudolstadt on the implementation. Numerous installations and suspended ceilings were removed, and the small windows were replaced with floor-to-ceiling ones. Shelves, sales counters, and other interior design elements were specially designed and built for the store.

What also makes the store special is that it can be flexibly used for sales or as a meeting point for citizens. Numerous events take place here throughout the year, including markets in the summer on the square. But the project is not yet complete. The entire area of the Bahnhof Rottenbach will receive a small wooden multifunctional building designed by Atelier ST from Leipzig in collaboration with the regional Baumann Architecture firm. It will also function as a community center. The small wooden house is intended to be simple and familiar and to naturally integrate into the train station square and its surroundings.

The residents, cooperative members, and travelers enjoy their new meeting and starting point into the Schwarzatal. The train station is a jewel, the Bahn-Hofladen is modern, and the train station square with its landscape islands is typical of the region. This project creates added value for the entire summer resort. Bahnhof Rottenbach is part of the IBA project family in the Schwarzatal.


Bahnhof Rottenbach is part of the IBA project family in the Schwarzatal.


Bahnhof Rottenbach
Am Bahnhof
07422 Königsee

Design and Implementation of Traffic Interchange and Environment Design Rottenbach Station

Renovation Station Building

baubüro lehniger, Gotha

Design and Structural Implementation Multifunctional House

IBA Project Manager

Ulrike Rothe


Gespräch mit Peter Möller_IBA Magazin 2022.pdf [pdf]


Bahnhof Rottenbach im IBA Finale 2023
Ein Multifunktionshaus für Bahnhof Rottenbach
Rottenbach erhält Sonderpreis ›Bahnhof des Jahres 2020‹
Ministerpräsident Ramelow und Minister Hoff besuchen auf Sommertouren IBA Projekt Bahnhof Rottenbach
Eröffnung des Bahnhofs Rottenbach mit BahnHofladen
Testfahrt Wasserstoffzug
IBA Fachbeirat empfiehlt Projektstatus für den ›Bahnhof Rottenbach‹
Entwurf der HTWK Leipzig für BahnHofladen Rottenbach
Umbaustelle Bahnhof Rottenbach
Ideenstudie: STADTLAND! INSELN für den Bahnhof Rottenbach
IBA Fachbeirat empfiehlt Kandidatenstatus für den ›Bahnhof Rottenbach‹

Im Drupal zeigen