Project Description


  • Hamburg IBA
  • Hamburg IBA

Languages available: EN ES FR GER

Minimum group size: 1

Maximum group size: 20

Duration: 4 hours

DESCRIPTION – Hamburg: IBA (International Building Exhibition)

Europe’s largest river island, Wilhelmsburg, is home to docks, industry, green oases, and over 50,000 people. Together with the small neighbouring island of Veddel and the “Harburg Upriver Port”, from 2006 to 2013 Wilhelmsburg formed the project area for the Internationale Bauausstellung IBA Hamburg (International Building Exhibition). Together with its many committed partners, the IBA Hamburg has devised and implemented seventy projects here, creating an impetus for sustainable, environmentally friendly, and socially balanced urban development.

The International Building Exhibition (IBA) Hamburg has changed the face of the Elbe Islands and Harburg Upriver Port. The main topics we will discuss during the tour will be:

  • Innovative house building
  • Urban development
  • Public spaces
  • International urban society, education
  • Energy projects

We’ll be able to see global neighborhoods such as World Commercial Park, Weimarer Platz and Reiherstieg district. Also the hybrid houses, which respond to the changing needs of residents and support them at different stages of their lives, rather than restricting them. Hybrid Houses are buildings that offer modifiable spaces. This adaptability allows them to be used for residential, work, or community living purposes, thus demonstrating how flexible and sustainable home construction might look in the future. Some examples are igs Centre, Hybrid House and Hybrid Development.

Under the project title of Smart Price Houses, the IBA Hamburg is showcasing inexpensive townhouses that enable people with modest means to buy or rent housing in the city. Cities are once again popular places to live, as they offer the chance to combine work, family life, and free time in one location, as well as attracting people with their urban vitality. This “urban renaissance” trend has shown itself to be no mere passing fad in Germany, as clearly demonstrated by the skyrocketing land and rent price increases over recent years. This has meant that families on low incomes can barely afford to rent inner-city housing, let alone buy a property. Examples: Basic building and do-it-yourself builders, CSH Case Study Hamburg, Case Study #1.

In no other German city is water so much a part of local identity as it is in Hamburg. Previously, water as a living environment, in the form of houseboats or houses on stilts, was limited to just a few specific properties in the city. Living on the water therefore tends to be associated with a certain lifestyle, as a form of individual expression, and for many it represents a particular attitude towards life. However, housing projects in areas dominated by water have long ceased to be a vision of the future; they have actually taken shape on the Elbe islands in the form of the WaterHouses. These five buildings demonstrate how water locations can be used as residential areas, while taking environmental concerns and residents’ safety into account.

With its Smart Material Houses, the IBA is demonstrating new components that enable buildings and their façades to respond to change in a dynamic way. Smart Materials: Clever Materials that Use Energy from the Surrounding Environment. “Smart materials” are materials, systems, and products that behave dynamically, unlike conventional building materials, which are static. This property allows them to react and adapt to environmental changes. Their particular characteristics are the result of physical or chemical influences upon the material, such as different temperatures or direct sunlight. Examples: BIQ, Smart is Green, The Soft House and the WOODCUBE.

These are just some examples of projects that you’ll be able to see. IBA offers more than 70 projects. In this architecture tour, an expert will show you some of the projects that make this area one of the most developed and sustainable parts of Hamburg.

Source (text): IBA Hamburg Website

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