Press Release

IBA’27 on the way to the exhibition year

There are still three years to go until the IBA’27 exhibition year. At a press conference in Stuttgart on Friday, the responsible persons behind IBA’27 presented the current status. It became clear that although the ongoing construction industry crisis is a major challenge for the projects, many are making good progress. »The project initiators recognise the opportunities to find ways out of the current crises, specifically with the IBA projects,« said the IBA organisers. A mixture of large neighbourhood developments and individual buildings in all phases of development are expected to be on display at the 2027 exhibition. In the time leading up to 2027, the IBA will also become even more visible: in mid-March, it will open a new space for exhibitions, workshops, talks and meetings in Calwer Strasse in the very centre of Stuttgart.

Six years ago, the International Building Exhibition 2027 (IBA’27) set out with the task of developing exemplary construction projects for the economic, social and ecological transformation of the Stuttgart Region. »The multiple crises of recent years have in some cases dramatically confirmed the need for fundamental change,« says IBA’27 artistic director Andreas Hofer. However, in intensive cooperation with the regional project initiators and experts from all over the world, promising concepts have emerged that show new paths into the future. »With its challenging work in the current crisis situation, IBA’27 is following a long tradition,« says Andreas Hofer. »In the last hundred years, IBAs have often accompanied social turning points – not least in 1927, when modernism found a spectacular form with the Weissenhof Estate. This kind of courage is needed again today.«

Karin Lang, Managing Director of IBA’27 GmbH, reported that many project initiators recognise the opportunities presented by IBA’27 and are working with the IBA team to drive the projects forward with great commitment. »But of course the crisis in the construction and real estate industry is a major challenge for the IBA projects. We are therefore all the more pleased to see the many projects throughout the region that are making good progress in spite of the situation and, together with IBA, are seriously addressing the property economy, future requirements, new construction technologies and materials and innovative urban planning concepts.« Only a few projects have been paused or postponed so far despite the economic environment.

IBA projects show new pathways for the future

To date, around 100 promising proposals have been included in the IBA’27 network. Of these, 26 are currently official IBA’27 projects, which are being developed in close co-operation with the IBA’27 team. These include efficient and vibrant neighbourhoods for a reality in which the boundaries between working and living are becoming increasingly blurred as well as diverse, adaptable designs for affordable housing in all phases of people’s lives. New places of industrial production, simple, resource-saving and modularly constructed houses with materials made from renewable resources and carefully designed, green public spaces based on the sponge city principle are being created.

Two new IBA projects were also presented at the press conference: The transformation of the Klett site as a contribution to the Productive City and the new construction of a residential building with multifunctional rooms as an example of how affordable housing can be created in the city centre using simple, climate-friendly construction methods. Both projects are located in close proximity to each other in the city centre of Stuttgart.

What will be on show in 2027?

Three years before the exhibition year, it is starting to emerge what can be shown in 2027. Currently, the IBA organisers see good potential for around 45 proposals and projects from the overall portfolio to become part of the exhibition. As things stand today, around 20 of these are expected to be at least partially completed. Most of the IBA projects are large neighbourhood developments – far more than initially expected. Some are nonetheless expected to be completed in 2027, while others will at least feature exemplary buildings. The IBA is also laying the foundations for further development of the neighbourhoods after the exhibition year.

The neighbourhoods will be joined by individual buildings that will be ready for exhibiting in 2027. These include the visitor and information centre that the City of Stuttgart is building on the forecourt of the Academy of Fine Arts to celebrate the centenary of the Weissenhof Estate. Dr Frank Nopper, Lord Mayor of the City of Stuttgart and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of IBA’27 GmbH: »The visitor information centre will not only be a beacon of architecture in its own right, but will also make IBA’27 visible and tangible for visitors from all over the world. This will take place on the site of great architecture and right next to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It will thus become a place of the great history of architecture and the promising future of construction.« The tendering process for a general contractor is currently underway, in which teams of architects and construction companies have applied with innovative design and realisation concepts. The decision and commissioning is expected to take place in mid-2024.

Several projects will also be fully under construction in 2027. They can also become part of the exhibition: by means of visualisations of what the completed projects will look like and with guided tours of the construction sites – for example, on new construction technologies. »The IBA is also a platform for technological innovations, for the regional industry and the art of engineering,« says Thomas S. Bopp, Chairman of Verband Region Stuttgart and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of IBA’27 GmbH. »I am therefore particularly pleased that we are now supporting innovations in IBA projects with the regional co-financing programme and thus providing an important stimulus for the construction industry and regional development.« The region is contributing around 1.1 million euros to enable innovative approaches in the field of sustainable construction and housing in IBA’27 projects.

For some projects, however, it is also clear that in 2027 very little that has been actually built will be visible. With their plans, these projects can also make valuable contributions to the exhibition. »In the present period of change, the topics of repurposing, interim uses and temporary solutions in existing buildings are also gaining in importance – very much in the spirit of IBA’27,« says Andreas Hofer.

New IBA’27 space in the centre of Stuttgart

In Calwer Strasse in the centre of Stuttgart, the IBA is also creating a new place to find out about all this at first hand: After the successful Festival Hub last summer, IBA will once again become visible in a former retail space to provide information about its topics and plans. The focus will be on an exhibition of the ideas of IBA’27 and the concepts for the IBA projects, as well as building materials and other objects from the world of IBA’27. With a co-working table and various seating areas, the new location also offers space for dialogue, meetings, workshops, and guided visits. The first opening is for the local event »Lange Nacht der Museen« on Saturday, 16 March 24 from 6 pm to 1 am, then regularly from Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 5 pm.

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