#034 Concept development – “Das Bio” biodiversity center


Experiment along the river

As a direct continuation of the zoo, “Das Bio” will be an experiment on the banks of the River Neckar: Animals, plant life, teaching and practical hands-on activities will no longer be separate entities – as is usually the case in botanical gardens, zoos and museums – but will melt to create a single knowledge center that can be experienced with all the senses.

Making biodiversity tangible

The center will explain what biological diversity means and why it is important if our planet is to survive. The range of topics biodiversity embraces include ecological challenges, the relationship between cities and nature, as well as questions relating to future research. Integrating exploHeidelberg, nowadays a popular learning laboratory, creates a new type of science center that builds bridges between theory and practice, research and everyday life.

New building and redesign of the site along the River Neckar

TO enable biodiversity to be experienced with all the senses there are plans to construct an architecturally innovative new building and redesign the site at the bend of the River Neckar. With the land having been secured in 2014, a concept for the contents the building will house as well as the layout is currently being developed. Temporary exhibitions devoted in particular to contrasts, (e.g., culture/nature, industry/nature conservation) and geared to interaction will also be housed in the new structure. Together with a learning laboratory for molecular biological experiments with professional safety standards (currently located in exploHeidelberg) diverse groups will be able to expand their natural sciences horizon in the “Bio”.

Vibrant river bank

The “Bio” attempts to bring new neighbors together: Animals, plant life, modern museum teaching and a practical learning laboratory; the intention is to create a venue here in Heidelberg that enables different target groups to encounter all aspects of nature. The “Bio” will activate the Neckar riverbank until evening, and create a spatial link between the university, the Botanical Gardens, and the clinics.


Sept. 22, 2015 | Students at the Technical University in Braunschweig draw up designs for “Das Bio” in Heidelberg

How will the zoo on the Neckar riverbank be made visible? How can architecture display and manifest biodiversity? Initiated by Prof. Volker Staab, Torsten Bodschwinna, Simona Schröder,and Christian Thomann, Master’s theses by students at the Technical University in Braunschweig offer solutions that combine a biodiversity center with a new zoo entrance and improvements to the Neckar riverbank. Drawn up in the summer semester 2015, the designs were presented to the IBA and the Initiators of the IBA_CANDIDATES for inspiration.
Details on the papers

Key data


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