||Essen with its present population of 630.000 is amongst the six largest cities of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its international significance as former industrial capital of Central Europe stems from its strategically unique location in the center of the largest economic conurbation within Continental Europe. Comparable to the transition during the industrialization period the Ruhr-metropolis, once having been a production site, has become a service-industry site. At present Essen is to be regarded as one of the major trade emporiums in the center of Europe: fair city, headquarters of major international industry- and trade corporations, principal energy center, shopping- and university city. In line with these favorable prerequisites the main traffic corridors, - on the rail, road, water and in the air - of Conti-nental Europe also meet in and around Essen. And the location of the Essen Central Train Station at the geographic center of the Ruhr-agglomeration proves also ideal
Its potential regarding urban functionality, however, shows a drastic incongruity as far as aesthetic-atmospheric reality is concerned. Instead of representing a meeting point and the focus for the integration of city quarters in terms of visitors communication it has become cut off from is surroundings in the south and north by large traffic routes. Down-town Essen has become unattractive for the public and thus is avoided rather than visited.
An improvement of the Essen down-town area will only be effective if this incongruity is done away with. Therefore, the five-storey system train station is to be connected to the down-town and southern part of Essen on the three major levels level with the vicinity in such a manner that the requirements of its service-function as to representing a point of attraction, animating center and efficient connector are met. Our conception is aimed at turning the Central Train Station into an interesting welcoming- and farewell-place enticing dwelling and appealing business activities: the gateway of Essen and into the world.