#030 B³ Gadamerplatz – Education, Encouragement, Encounters


Everything under a single roof

Why not try bringing together different knowledge institutions in one building? This is the idea behind a beacon of the modern knowledge society now taking shape in the Bahnstadt: a challenging project both in terms of its architecture and content, the innovative new building for the IBA project “B³ Gadamerplatz” combines a nursery, a primary school with sports hall and a community center under one roof.

Easing transitions, encouraging encounters

The project should help to ease the transition between nursery and school. With the inclusion of the community center, which will be open to people of all ages and any level of education, it should also stimulate lifelong learning and cultural exchange. The aim of this innovative ensemble is to outfit the new district with a meeting place for all generations.

Four components, one uniform image

The main body of the building boasts a uniform appearance, but actually consists of four parts for each individual purpose: the 9,877-square-metre building complex combines a three-stream, inclusive primary school complete with sports hall, a nursery with four groups, and a community center with a public café, multipurpose function room and a community hall. The different parts of the building are grouped around a courtyard which – depending on the time of day – is also open to the public. Internal connections facilitate networking among users where required. The outdoor area of the nursery is separated from the primary school’s playground by an “action wall”, which can be used by both institutions.

Lifelong learning

Prof. Ulf Matthiesen is a professor at the Institute for European Ethnology at Berlin’s Humboldt University and a member of the IBA Board of Trustees: “A knowledge city that is open to the future needs places that facilitate lifelong learning and exchange among various different areas of society, and that form its identity – B3 will be just such a place for the Bahnstadt.”


September 19, 2016 | Topping Out Ceremony at Gadamerplatz

12 months into the construction period, the topping out ceremony for the new education, encouragement, encounters facility B³ Gadamerplatz was celebrated on September 15, 2016. Lord Mayor Dr. Eckart Würzner called it a “place of lifelong learning and exchange”. The first pupils are expected at the beginning of the school year in fall 2017.
Please see the Website of Bahnstadt for a press release and a video featuring the topping out ceremony.

December 14, 2015 | Groundbreaking ceremony for the educational, support and civic center

“Project B³ is setting an example of educational work in Bahnstadt,” said IBA Executive Director Professor Michael Braum at the groundbreaking ceremony. “It bridges the divides between the institutions and is close to its target groups. This project will make an important contribution in supporting the diversity of the people and the milieu in Bahnstadt. Any future knowledge-based urbanism needs precisely these sorts of places for lifelong learning and exchange and to help build identity – B³ will be just such a place for Bahnstadt.”

Sept. 1, 2015 | Construction of B³ at Gadamerplatz begins

As of that date the Gadamerplatz at the heart of the Bahnstadt has started to develop into a place of education, care and community, namely B³, as construction began. The B³ should be ready to open at the beginning of the 2017-8 school year.

July 16, 2015 | B³ becomes an IBA project

At the Supervisory Board meeting in June 2015, B³ was selected as an IBA_PROJECT. Even before the IBA’s involvement, an interdisciplinary team of education experts and planners developed an innovative spatial program. The design was selected by means of an architectural competition and advanced by the young winning team with the involvement of the future users of the building. The idea is to create knowledge-oriented architecture that lays the foundation for innovative cooperation among those involved. Then came the decision from the supervisory board of IBA Heidelberg: the project has been developed sufficiently for it to meet the IBA criteria.

Nov. 20, 2012 | Results of the architecture competition

After the conclusion of the design competition the prize-winners, Stuttgart based Peter Donn, Datscha Architekten and Berlin landscape architecture firm KUULA Landschaftsarchitekten, were commissioned to develop plans for the new building and the redesigned square. The claims of various different user groups to a site of this kind had already been taken into account at the planning stage. The main challenges still pending arise from the detailed planning of the interiors and the cooperation to be practiced within them.

Key data


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