B³ Gadamerplatz


Gadamerplatz 3
69115 Heidelberg | Bahnstadt

Project Partner

City of Heidelberg and Bau- und Servicegesellschaft mbH Heidelberg (BSG)

Contact Person

Moritz Bellers


The name B3 stands for the programmatic trio (all three German functions start with a B) formed by the new district center on Gadamerplatz: education, care, and encounters. The new build provides space for an elementary school complete with sports hall, for a childcare center, and a civic center with its own public café, multipurpose rooms, and a civic hall. This successful combination of diverse usages means B3 is now an important meeting place at the heart of Bahnstadt, and since 2017 locals have readily incorporated it into their everyday lives.

With just short of 10,000 sqm of usable space, the complex was designed by Datscha Architekten. (Stuttgart) led by architect Peter Donn. In 2012, the architecture practice won the two-phase ideas and realization competition, and thus realized its first design for a school building. local citizens were included in the relevant processes as early as the competition itself. Thus, anyone interested was able to view the proposals submitted in the first phase and send comments to the competition organizers that were then forwarded to the architects for the second phase. The IBA supported the city in ensuring a lifelong learning project that had already been conceived culminated in a high-quality building: Workshops were organized during the planning period to prepare the different user groups for their future collaboration.

The building volume consists of four independent, two or three-story sections that are connected to one another by single-story structures in-between. This gives rise to a protected inner courtyard with an elaborate design that reflects the needs and wishes of the different user groups, and the courtyard is open to the public at specific times during the day. The brick façade creates a uniform appearance, and the gradual changes in its color emphasize the special character of the educational and events space. The district center creates a clear identity for the place, something that is supported by the makeover of Gadamerplatz to offer a range of different uses for all age groups and thus interacts with B3 to promote many an encounter across various milieus.

Lifelong learning also thrives on there being no boundaries between the different age groups, by them meeting and being visible to one another. The continuity of learning thus becomes part of everyday life. Whereas in the past schools were places for a specific time in life, today they are increasingly being expanded to include additional educational and community functions. Within the district, they become a meeting place for all the generations, a place that fosters an identity for shared life in the quarter.


November 2012

Winner of architecture competition announced

February 2014

Nominated as an IBA Project

July 2014

Workshop networking future users

March 2015

2nd workshop networking future users

December 2015

Foundation stone laid

May 2016

Reallabor Workshop »Urban Office – sustainable urban development in the knowledge society«

September 2017

School and childcare center opened

January 2018

Civic center and café opened