#032 House of Youth 60.1


Location: Römerstraße 87, Weststadt
Client: City of Heidelberg, Youth Welfare Office
Architecture: Murr Architekten, Dießen, in collaboration with L+P Landschaftsarchitekten, Munich (First Prize in design competition)

»The Haus der Jugend in Heidelberg lives from the wide range of activities it offers and the success of bringing together young people from all districts and backgrounds. The next logical step should be to provide a spatial update not only to the house, but also to the fragmented open spaces of this central school campus.«
IBA advisory board

Since the 1960s, the House of Youth has effectively contributed to the integration of people across age groups with diverse educational biographies and from various city districts; it is a place for experimentation in various leisure activities and life-styles. Built in the context of US re-education after the Second World War, the building is worn out and is giving way to a new building. Atmospheric, multifunctional rooms are intended to attract children and young people from all over the city. The area connects the Weststadt with the Südstadt; the architecture and open space design will be decisive for the e ect on the Mitte school campus.

In an elaborate, experimental process of youth participation (including WhatsApp conversations), the spatial program was coordinated. In cooperation with the IBA it became the basis for an international, two-stage project competition. Additional open spaces with a cross-linking function were integrated into the process as a part of the idea. With over 90 works from Germany and abroad in the first phase, and 19 works in the shortlist, the competition shed light on the demands of a youth institution in the 21st century. The competition was won by the young, internationally experienced architect Sebastian Murr (in collaboration with landscape architect Dietmar Lennartz). Their scheme offers independent spatial qualities to various user groups from the fields of dance, theatre, music and many others. Furthermore, it emphasizes diversity within unity — a house of houses.


Nov. 04, 2016 | Call for submissions: House of Youth Heidelberg – Open International Competition for Architect with Landscape Architects

Since the 1960s, the City of Heidelberg has run the very successful “Haus der Jugend“ (House of Youth), which now has to be remodeled to house its new program adequately. All age groups and educational backgrounds gather here and call it home. With its new building the “Haus der Jugend“ is set to continue and renew its citywide attractiveness and reputation concerning open youth work with children and teenagers. New and multifunctional interior and exterior spaces are needed to continue its success story.
The site lies in between Heidelberg’s historic “Weststadt” and the “Südstadt” dating from the second half of the 20th century and works as a link between these two neighborhoods. The architecture and landscape design are crucial for the character of the campus of schools surrounding it.
The competition aims for a preliminary design (Vorentwurfsplanung) scheme for the new building, its immediate surrounding and its urban design context to make the “Haus der Jugend“ fit for the future. A total of 42.000 Euros will be awarded to the best proposals, in following negotiations one office shall be contracted for the project.
The size of the competition site (a combination of an area for implementation and for ideas) is 11.674 sqm. The architectural design is to encompass ca. 1.392 sqm of net-floorspace. Through the competition the conceptual and physical necessities should be imagined for the future development of youth work.
Further Information (German)

Nov. 27, 2015 | Youths help design their own center

IBA_CANDIDATE #032. Having operated successfully for more than 60 years, the Haus der Jugend youth center is to be upgradeded both structurally and in terms of concept. Starting November 27, 2015 young people from all districts and types of school in Heidelberg had an opportunity to have their ideas included in the planning. This way the center aimed to take young people’s different leisure time interests into account.

June 25, 2015 | Local council’s resolution on participation procedure

With regard to the preparation of a two-stage architecture competition in 2016, the Youth Welfare Department of Heidelberg commissioned an agency to devise a participation procedure involving young users. Visitors to the center are also being involved in the discussions and made aware of the upcoming planning processes on an informal basis: Young people in Heidelberg also have a say in the form the future spatial concept will take. On June 25, 2015 the Heidelberg Local Council voted unanimously in favor of a participation procedure, providing youngsters in the city with an opportunity to put forward their ideas for the design prior to the architects’ competition being announced.

  • Key Data

    February 2014
    CANDIDATE Status

    November 2015
    Young people participation

    March 2016

    May 2015
    Spatial program

    April 2017
    Competition Decision First Stage

    December 2017
    Competition Decision Second Stage