Chapter 20: Schaffhausen as it was never built

Bernhard Ott / Hans Bölsterli: Schaffhausen wie es nie gebaut wurde, Bauprojekte aus der Schublade ("Schaffhausen as it was never built: building projects out of the drawer") (Schaffhausen, 1988).

published May 2021

The favorite book of Pauline Zade

Pauline Zade has worked in the Iron Library for several years. In addition to organizing guided tours and events, she supports the corporate archive and offers a helping hand in library operations. She came across this, her favorite book while sorting books in the library holdings.

The reader

Pauline Zade

...studied technical journalism and corporate communication at the ZHAW in Winterthur. In the years following she worked for various international companies before setting off for Paradies in 2016, where she has been part of the Iron Library team ever since.

Pauline grew up in Schaffhausen and has lived with her family in Langwiesen for several years.

The book

Bernhard Ott / Hans Bölsterli: Schaffhausen wie es nie gebaut wurde, Bauprojekte aus der Schublade ("Schaffhausen as it was never built: building projects out of the drawer") (Schaffhausen, 1988).

What would Schaffhausen's cityscape be without the Munot? With the Züri tram instead of the trolleybuses of the time? The Rhine harbor instead of the Bretterbadi?

Schaffhausen could look quite different today. In their book, published in 1988, Bernhard Ott and Hans Bölsterli use various illustrations, drawings and photomontages to visualize how building plans which had been discussed, planned but were eventually rejected would have shaped and changed Schaffhausen's townscape. With the help of blueprints, planning applications and other files that had long been stored away in archives, they also analyzed what the worries and thoughts were on the minds of architects, politicians and public at the time.

The enthralling question of "what if ..." compared to that of "what has really been implemented before 1988" are omnipresent when reading this work.

As a company with a longstanding presence in the town, GF cannot be overlooked is also mentioned at various points in the book: At the current location of the GF office building in Ebnat, for example, there could have been a tram depot instead! When the old tram depot at the Etzwiler underpass had become too small in 1911, Hermann Geiser, the then director of the city tram, proposed to the city council a new depot on the 7,000 square meter property that was owned, at the time, by CMC. However, the project - which had been well received until then - got a spanner in the works. A commission appointed by the City Council expressed concerns, in part also due to high construction costs. It was not until 1987 that the Schaffhauser Verkehrsbetriebe was allowed to move into a new depot on the Hinterer Ebnat, approx. 500 meters from the originally intended location. GF took over that CMC property in 1958 and built the office building we know today.

Around 1900 the construction of a cable car in Munotgraben with terminus at Bachstrasse and Munot was being discussed - fortunately, the plans were then discarded.