After our first working experiences in architecture firms in Germany and abroad, we three – Kai Haag, Sebastian Haffner and Tilman Stroheker – meet again in Stuttgart in 1981 and start working on competitions in Till’s apartment. With our first sucesses we move into an empty loft, and we win more competitions in the Stuttgart region and in Saudi-Arabia. In 1982, we decide to keep working together and to formally establish our architecture firm. We take two nice office rooms on Ameisenbergstrasse and pose very casually at the fence gate. When someone calls, we just answer with “three architects” instead of our family names – the origin of “Drei Architekten” which is a very unusual name for an architectural company architects at that time.
Competition successes lead to first real projects, and we need more space and some staff. We move to Gutenbergstrasse in the central district of Stuttgart-West and plan the entire new town center of Wendlingen with many individual projects. (24 years later we are happy to plan the last part of our urban concept: the new municipal hall, inaugurated in 2010). We continue to participate successfully in competitions: a large student housing project and a multi-functional center for the social services of the protestant church. We plan four new university buildings as replacement for historic guardhouses next to Hohenheim Palace. In 1987, we buy our first personal computer.
After four years, we move a few blocks further to Roetestrasse and make ourselves at home in an old factory floor flooded with light: 400 square meters of wooden floors, no walls, expressive pillars and single glazing which makes us sweat in summer and chill in winter. The projects planned on Gutenbergstrasse are now under construction. New projects come up – mostly from won competitions again. Our work is honored with the first awards, among them the prestigious “Hugo-Haering-Award” of the Association of German Architects (BDA) for the student housing on Herdweg.
In 1990, Reinhard Grossmann becomes our fourth associate and is primarily responsible for the tendering and execution phases of our projects. We now call ourselves Drei Architekten + Partner. We plan a second student housing project, the multi-functional church center mentioned above, several housing projects, a mortuary chapel and some smaller projects.
After four years on Roetestrasse, the old factory building is up for demolition. We find suitable office space close-by in a former chocolate factory next to the Feuersee, a small pond close to the city center. We feel so comfortable here that we stay until now. We plan our first retirement and nursing home and our first school. In 1994, we install our first CAD workstations which are outragiously expensive at the time. With increased efficiency, we work on a mutli-generational community center with integrated nursing home, a building for the new private university SIMT, numerous warehouses and workshops for an electricity company and our first large office building for an insurance company.
Together with an associated free-lance construction manager, Reinhard Gassmann has founded a construction management company which grows fast and soon moves out our our common offices. At the end of 1999, Reinhard Grossmann leaves our architecture firm which returns to its old name Drei Architekten Haag – Haffner – Stroheker. We continue our close cooperation with the Gassmann + Grossmann Baumanagement GmbH and finish together the private university SIMT in 2000 and the multi-generational center in 2001.
Group activities cannot be missed out. Traditionally, we always start our Christmas staff party with a long hike which makes the dinner taste even better. From time to time, we go on longer trips together in order to visit old and new architecture and to spend some group time outside the office. After trips to the German Ruhr region, to Frankfurt, Basel, Hamburg and Paris, we explore the Austrian Vorarlberg region and the Principality of Liechtenstein in 2008.
In addition to our typical projects with educational and foster purposes, we are happy to work on special projects as well: a city square with a central bus station, a multi-purpose hall for cultural and sports events, a large fire station and the mentioned municipal hall in Wendlingen. In 1987, we found the Drei Architekten GmbH as a second company for handling the international projects. We win the international competition for a large open-air concert hall for 9.000 spectators in Georgia, which has been under construction since 2010.
After more than 30 years of close, trustful and successful collaboration of the founders, the change of generations is being initiated. In 2014, Tilman Stoheker leaves DREI ARCHITEKTEN as the first of the three founding associates after more than 30 years, but he will continue to be available as a consultant for a transitional period of time. Harald Konsek, Rainer Streule and Christian Vogel join DREI ARCHITEKTEN as new associates, and together with Prof. Kai Haag and Sebastian Haffner they will set up the new management team for the next years.