#012 Self-administered student residence for Heidelberg


How tomorrow’s knowledge nomads will live

Part of the urban renewal site, formerly used by the US-army, is set to become a vibrant district with a dynamic mix of work, living and leisure. The IBA is supporting this transformation with the Collegium Academcium project: in future, a student dormitory will accommodate around 200 students from all over the world and enable them to learn for the future in jointly developed formats.

A house with a history

The project’s namesake is the legendary Collegium Academicum, which until 1978 was based in the Carolinum on Heidelberg’s Seminarstrasse. The center of Heidelberg’s student movement in its day, the new Collegium Academicum takes certain ideas from that time and embeds them in a contemporary context: A comprehensive educational concept with preliminary study, parallel study, tutorial programs and project-based learning should help students to progress on a broader basis than strictly regimented learning plans allow. In addition, the facility should present offerings for school pupils and young adults within the neighborhood and also for the whole of Heidelberg. The shared use of spaces will also keep rents down.

Low-impact living in existing buildings

The location targeted for the project is the former US-Hospital, where new building (wood-construction) will be combined with existing houses. Both, renovation and construction of the buildings should be as low-key (“sufficient”)as possible. The special thing about it? The students will take over ownership of the property and manage their residence themselves, thus the principle of the “rental property syndicate” will enable them to practice small-scale democracy. Alongside the living spaces there will also be multifunctional communal areas (co-working spaces, e.g. for start-ups), a café and multifunctional rooms for events and seminars – and all spaces should be open to the people of the neighborhood.

Offerings for students and residents in the district

Stephen Craig, artist and professor at the KIT and member of the IBA Board of Trustees comments: “Communal living, mutual learning and knowledge transfer will all be part of this project and will enrich the university town of Heidelberg and its southern districts in a radical way.”


May 03, 2017 | Collegium Academicum receives €10,000 funding

Congratulations to the students of Collegium Academicum in Heidelberg! SPONSORT and IBA Heidelberg have financed the first mobile hall of residence with €10,000. Now it can be implemented.

March 27, 2017 | Crowd funding in urban development: The winner is known

For four weeks candidates and projects of IBA Heidelberg stood for a public vote via the platform SPONSORT. Voters could choose between five projects with a cultural focus. The votes were counted to determine the winner who can now implement their project with €10,000 prize money. Further details

Nov. 20, 2016 | Collegium Academicum opens its doors for the first time

On Sunday 20 November, 2016 Collegium Academicum opened its doors for the first time on the former premises of the US Hospital, and invited interested citizens to find out about the project. To underline the college’s future function as a knowledge space, visitors could take Apart in various workshops and learn from and with one another.
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March 10, 2016 | Students dorm "Collegium Academicum" moves into the Hospital

The City of Heidelberg has indicated its willingness to provide a site for the IBA_PROJECT “Collegium Academicum”: The idea is for it to locate to a space in the northeast of the approx. 9 hectares of area of conversion in Rohrbach designated as the “US Hospital”.

Having got to know various architects in the course of qualifying workshops on topics such as “self-sufficiency” or “education concepts”, the students have now chosen to collaborate in-depth with architect Hans Drexler and his company Drexler Guinand Jauslin and have teamed up with him to devise the first concepts for their house.

The “Drexler Guinand Jauslin” architectural office is specialized in sustainable and innovative residential building. This is in line with the students’ wish to create a self-sufficient student dorm in Heidelberg – with integrated education offerings – for over 200 inhabitants.

Oct. 9, 2015 | Collegium Academicum gives insights into a colorful past

The Collegium Academicum can look back on a colorful past in Heidelberg, and a touring exhibition is now offering insights into the association’s history. On 9 October 2015 publicist and historian Gerd Koenen opened the exhibition in the university archive.

July 16, 2015 | Collegium Academicum becomes an IBA_PROJECT

At the Supervisory Board meeting in June 2015, the Collegium Academicum was selected as an IBA_PROJECT. Together with the IBA office, the candidate spent a year refining the relevant ideas: In talks with experts from various disciplines, through academic and design-workshops, the group fine-tuned its concepts. Then came the decision from the supervisory board of IBA Heidelberg: the financial, organizational and conceptual basis of this candidate had been advanced sufficiently to enable the next steps towards the construction project to be approached jointly.

18.05.2015 | How can we boost the intelligence of our house? IBA workshop on the educational concept

How can a student residence in Heidelberg be brought to life with an interesting and comprehensive educational program? Experts from throughout Germany gave insights into the topics of propaedeutics, tutorial programs, project learning and study in parallel to the semester program and emphasized this with practical examples. Speakers included:
Michael Behal, Leibniz College, Tübingen
Jasmin Tran, University of Heidelberg
Merlin Wolf, University of Heidelberg
Daniel Ixkes, University of Witten/Herdecke

March 23, 2015 | How can we boost the intelligence of our house? IBA workshop on low-impact living

In cooperation with the Collegium Academicum e.V., the IBA organized a workshop on the topic of “low-impact living”. The aim was to answer both theoretical and practical questions: What does low-impact living, economic activity and construction mean to Heidelberg students? How can we create the prerequisites for low-impact living? What is necessary for life? And where can we avoid excessive consumption? The speakers Dr. Lars-Arvid Brischke from ifeu Berlin, Prof. Hans Drexler from Drexler Guinand Jauslin Architects (Frankfurt/Main), Prof. Susanne Hofmann from die Baupiloten Berlin, Arne Steffen from werk.um Darmstadt and Claudia Thiesen from Kraftwerk1 Zürich all outlined the theoretical basics and gave insights into practical experiences on the theme of “low-impact living”, underlining their remarks with very specific project examples.

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