#029 Forum Adenauer Platz


Location: Adenauerplatz, Weststadt
Client: German American Institute (DAI) Heidelberg
Architecture: SSV Architekten, Heidelberg in collaboration with Institute for Computational Design and Construction, University of Stuttgart

»The idea of improving the visibility of the DAI in urban space through an exhibition and discussion forum and, beyond that, creating a place, a public forum, is highly appreciated in the IBA context.«
IBA advisory board

The German-American Institute (DAI), an institution of cultural life in Heidelberg that is widely renowned in Germany, seeks to bring new impulses to Heidelberg’s civil society with an open forum for the discussion of socially interesting questions.

The idea is to establish an extraordinary venue for new forms of events and exchange in line with the IBA motto: »Wissen | schafft | Stadt« (knowledge-based urbanism). The Adenauerplatz, which is currently an island in the middle of an extremely busy traffic hub, is particularly suitable for such a communicative experiment. Here the knowledge city of the future could become recognizable and accessible to every- body. A light timber pavilion is envisaged as an exhibition and discussion forum. It is the result of a feasibility study by SSV Architekten commissioned by IBA Heidelberg. The aim is to create an interim space with an interdisciplinary, inter-cultural and international character. Achim Menges from the University of Stuttgart has developed a wooden construction with the help of digital design methods — an experimental architecture where crafts, industry and science find common ground. The traffic hub is to be upgraded and turned into an attractive place that radiates beyond the borders of Heidelberg.


Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut (DAI), a renowned institute of cultural life in Heidelberg known throughout Germany and beyond, is seeking an additional innovative location with an “open forum to discuss socially interesting issues”. The idea is to raise the profile of the DAI within the city and to establish an extraordinary venue for new event and communication formats in addition to the currently limited premises available, whose atmosphere moreover does not provoke much inspiration.


In a first step, the plan is to create a inviting pavilion as an exhibition and discussion venue to be located on Adenauerplatz or at similarly underused locations: It will be an “interspace” with an interdisciplinary, intercultural and international character. It remains undecided whether this will be a permanent fixture or designed in the sense of a nomadic, open platform, which can be temporarily transported to other districts of the city.

IBA potential

Social relevance, as the DAI will be augmented to provide an interactive, interdisciplinary, intercultural and international platform for shared experiences.
Structural effectiveness: the DAI pavilion as “magnet” in non-spaces, a traffic-island.
Exemplary character through the combination of international composition and locality as an expression of democracy and understanding between peoples
Above-average expertise by means of a planned competition on temporary/transportable architecture
Polyvalence through the combination of exhibition and discussion venue in connection with the visualization of potential in the urban space


19.05.2017 | Forum Adenauerplatz – Exhibition and Installation

The opening reception of the Adenauerplatz was held on May 19. The introductions by mayor Dr. Eckart Würzner, Jakob Köllhofer (DAI), Prof. Michael Braum (IBA Heidelberg), and Jan van der Velden-Volkmann (SSV), as well as the following keynote speech by ICD Stuttgart gave a great many visitors the chance to gain an insight into how the Adenauerplatz could be designed to create a distinguished public space. The exhibition is still on display in the underpass and can be visited until June 18, 2017.

Oct. 15, 2016 | A forum for the Adenauerplatz

In the direct vicinity opposite the cultural center, Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut (DAI) an unusual and highly visible venue for events and exchange is to be created. The idea is for a light, organic wooden pavilion as an exhibition and discussion forum on Adenauerplatz – the outcome of the feasibility study by SSV Architekten, which was commissioned by IBA Heidelberg: an “interspace” with an interdisciplinary, intercultural and international character. Tunnel and stairs will lead to the new entrance, Stadtgalerie and the foyer. Together with the pavilion a flowing series of spaces will be created, and areas that can be used very flexibly.
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  • Key Data

    February 2014
    CANDIDATE Status

    July 2015
    Administration workshop

    November 2015
    Feasibility study

    September 2016
    Sponsorship brochure

    May 2017
    Exhibition and IBA@WORK

    December 2017
    Revision of feasibility study