2012 – 2022
IBA Heidelberg

Knowledge | Based | Urbanism

From 2012 to 2022, IBA Heidelberg aims to initiate and implement projects and processes related to the knowledge society. Its guiding theme is Wissen | schafft | Stadt (Knowledge | Based | Urbanism). In principle, this means focusing aspects of social change on their urban development and architectural dimensions: How does the European city have to change to meet the requirements of tomorrow’s knowledge society? Heidelberg is the perfect test bench. Both the city and its university are developing in a balance between tradition and modernism. The city is home to a range of internationally acclaimed scientific institutions. The conflict between preservation and renewal has plenty of potential for the model of the future city of knowledge. The Executive Director is Michael Braum, and Carl Zillich is Chief Curator.

Together with the Board of Trustees, IBA Heidelberg developed 4+1 key thematic areas: Science, learning spaces, networks, material cycles and, as a superordinate area, the co-produced city. Between now and 2022, the IBA projects will give a selective impression of potential solutions for a future city of knowledge. In addition to research and educational institutions, schools, daycare centres and places of cultural education, the projects also include student accommodation, parks and public spaces.  

In 2018, the progress of the IBA Process will be documented in an intermediate presentation. The final presentation will show all projects in a full exhibition. 

IBA Heidelberg is the first IBA financed exclusively by a city. It does not have any in-house resources for construction investments. As a result, it relies to a greater extent on subsidy programmes and private investments. From the outset, IBA Heidelberg has viewed its topic as an international problem with a local impact that searches for answers with corresponding knowledge transfer via existing and new networks.


On the former US-military settlement Patrick-Henry-Village in the southwest of Germany the International Architecture Exhibition Heidelberg is developing a knowledge city of tomorrow © KCAP Architects&Planners
Winner of the implementation competition for IBA candidate "Energy and Future Storage“ © LAVA – Laboratory for visionary architecture
IBA_SUMMIT is a summit meeting for mayors, university rectors, urban planners and business representatives from international university cities © Christian Buck / IBA Heidelberg
The Collegium Academicum IBA project plans a self-administered student residents for 200 young people on the US hospital conversion area, partially in existing buildings and partially in a modular timber building © drexler guinand jauslin
IBA candidate “Forum Adenauerplatz”, a public forum featuring a cultural programme © SSV Architekten / IBA Heidelberg
With the IBA, the project for extracurricular craft education entitled exPRO 3 is working to expand its geographic reach and content © Yalla Yalla! – studio for change / IBA Heidelberg
The IBA_LOCAL series calls on the urban community to reflect on the future of Heidelberg as a “21st century city of knowledge” together with the IBA © Valentina Meuren / IBA Heidelberg