#030 B³ Gadamerplatz – Education, Encouragement, Encounters


Location: Gadamerplatz 3, Bahnstadt
Client: City of Heidelberg, Youth Welfare Office, Education Office, Social Welfare Office and Bau- und Servicegesellschaft mbH Heidelberg
Architecture: Datscha Architekten, Stuttgart in collaboration with KUULA, Berlin

»A sustainable city of knowledge needs places where life-long learning and exchange between different environments can take place and identity is created. B3 will be such a place for the new district Bahnstadt.«
IBA advisory board

Education, care and encounters viewed as a triad of lifelong learning: in this spirit, an exemplary project for the knowledge-based society was developed in Bahnstadt from 2012 to 2017. A day care center, a primary school including a sports hall, and a community center were designed as one building with high architectural and content-related standards, thus creating the structural conditions for cooperation and a new coexistence.

The day-care center and the school facilitate a variety of encounters. The community center, run by the district association, offers activities for all ages, and encourages lifelong learning and cultural exchange. The innovative building ensemble also creates an prominent meeting place. The architect Peter Donn from Stuttgart won the competition for the realization of his rst school building in 2012. The landscape architecture of KUULA from Berlin completes the picture of the courtyards and the Gadamerplatz in front of them. The building has a uniform appearance although it consists of four independent building units for the planned uses: The almost 10,000 square meter building complex combines a three-class primary school with sports hall, a day-care facilities for four groups of children, a community center with a public café, multi-purpose rooms and a community hall. The buildings are connected in many ways and are grouped around an inner courtyard, which is open to the public in the afternoon.


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

    November 2012
    Competition decision

    February 2014
    CANDIDATE Status

    July 2014
    First Stakeholder Workshop

    March 2015
    Second Stakeholder Workshop

    June 2015
    PROJECT Status

    December 2015
    Groundbreaking ceremony

    May 2016
    Living laboratory Workshop

    September 2017
    School inauguration