The TurmQuartier in the heart of the Goldstadt
Change is under way: Sparkasse is building its new headquarters in the city from scratch. For the first time, we are able to gain an insight into the detailed plans, and they are a spectacular sight to behold. The project will enhance the entire district around the main office and combine the elements of “Space”, “Experience” and “Banking” into one big shining light.
When it comes to construction projects, the term “masterstroke” always does the rounds. But for Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw’s concept – the details of which Pforzheimer Zeitung can now reveal to readers for the first time – this buzzword is actually accurate. The plan is to create a modern and diverse district around its landmark building, the Sparkasse Tower. It will be given the fitting name ‘TurmQuartier’ (meaning: Tower District), which is also reflected in the logo.
Which considerations have been made in these plans?
Stephan Scholl, Chair of the Board of Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw, said that it was, of course, a matter of bolstering their own building. But he wants to make the city centre more attractive, too. He claims that holistic concepts for a city often fall flat as they are too vague and are then talked to death. So individual beacons of light needed to be created. And it is precisely this – as a supplement to the Schlössle-Galerie shopping centre or the plans for the east side of the city – that the financial institute aims to achieve: “We want to bring life, footfall, people to this district.”
What will change structurally?
As a result of the demolition of the counter hall and the construction of the new building, which is already taking shape, there are plenty of new possibilities here. According to Head of Division Stephan Günthner, the area between the Leopoldplatz square, Poststraße, Museumstraße and Kiehnlestraße, and the building complex found there, is rambling and confusing to visitors. This is about to fundamentally change, as Head of Organisation at Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw Rüdiger Karl explains: The new customer hall will be accessible, even from the Leopoldplatz square, where a large opening will be created at the end of the mall leading to a staircase, escalator and lift. There will also be a passageway from Poststraße to the restaurant and to Museumstraße. A separate 450 m² function room is expected to have a crowd-pulling effect. Called Forum, it boasts state-of-the-art technology and is set to host events of all kinds and sizes. It has capacity for 320 attendees at seated events or 600 with standing room only, and if the foyer and Sparkasse foyer are booked alongside it, up to 1,200 people can attend. Stephan Scholl, Chair of the Board of Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw, was keen to emphasise that this is an addition to the city’s social and cultural offering, and they were not trying to compete with other venues such as Kulturhaus Osterfeld or the CCP congress centre.
Which businesses are expected to move into the TurmQuartier?
Stephan Günthner says the area near Sparkasse itself is home to many top names of all kinds: legal practices and law firms, jewellery stores, several specialist retailers and restaurants. Customers will be given extensive guidance to help them feel at home and find their way around here. This includes digital directions to the TurmQuartier, labels and signs with dynamic lines and light strips and attractively designed waiting and service areas with digital and analogue information and entertainment. There will also be an interactive media wall and the TurmQuartier will have its own app, which shows visitors the way on their smartphones and displays great deals every day. There are plans for two central information centres where customers can book appointments and ask any questions they may have.
Space – Experience – Banking: What’s behind these three words that Sparkasse uses to describe the TurmQuartier?
Ulrich Haag, Head of Event Management, says Sparkasse wants to be seen as a modern, progressive company. “Space” highlights the fact that the TurmQuartier has rooms for all kinds of private celebrations and corporate events: concerts and performances, conferences, training sessions and workshops. These kinds of events also promise to be genuine experiences. As do guided tours of the “Gold.Money.Business.” exhibition, the Schmuckwelten, the Sparkasse Tower and the Mineral Museum, which is housed on the underground and ground floors and will be open to the public in future. Or maybe even shopping at the ticket office and Arkaden, the fashion house Zara, Leicht Juweliere, Deutsche Schmuck & Uhren or the Galerie für Schmuck · Kunst · Design. This, according to Scholl, is “our bridge to the university”. Not to mention the restaurants offering everything from breakfast and lunch to coffee and cake right through to after-work parties on the rooftop of the Sparkasse multi-storey car park. But banking is the core and linchpin, with extensive advice in a wide range of areas. “Above all else, this is our main office,” Scholl reaffirms. “We want to be a clearly identifiable Sparkasse.”
What is left to do?
The TurmQuartier is expected to be completed by the end of 2020; earlier accounts estimate that Sparkasse is investing around € 50 million in the new build. To transform Poststraße into an attractive gateway to the pedestrian zone, other players will also need to get involved in due course. The Pforzheimer Zeitung newspaper will enhance the street with its Medienhaus adjacent to the Sparkasse new build. There is also a lot going on across the road in the Saacke Carré, and not just in the shops. The plans to open a restaurant there also seem to be gathering pace, and it would be even more appealing with outdoor service. For all of this to be a success, there needs to be an urban concept for this street. It needs to be developed with city government and supported by the local council. It should include the necessary short-stay and standard parking and treat pedestrians and drivers equally and fairly. Stephan Scholl recalls what he sees as the extremely positive development of Kaiser Friedrich Straße: With this renovated street, it just goes to show how targeted action with clearly defined resources can create the very thing the TurmQuartier is expected to become: a shining light in the Goldstadt.