Quartier Backnang West – Backnang West Neighbourhood

Urban living close to water and nature

Where the Murr river meanders by the town of Backnang, an industrial area developed over the course of around 150 years that is currently almost the same size as the old town. A large part of the site is unused at present, meaning that there is lots of potential to reinterpret the productive city for riverside living and working.

Backnang’s location alongside a river has shaped the town. The castle and church perch above the town on undercut steep slopes, while tanneries, spinning mills and a construction machinery manufacturer settled on the shallow banks of the river from the 19th century. To the west of the town centre, the landscape is characterised by huge surface car parks alongside the historical factory halls. The plan for the future is to de-seal these spaces to create a vibrant neighbourhood that combines housing with commerce and social and cultural uses. With support from IBA’27, the owners, users and the municipal authorities held workshops to gather ideas and visions for the future that resulted in an international procedure calling for outlines. The winning design follows the meandering of the river and divides the site into three areas. The first is a ›CityCampus‹ that continues the street lights and sequence of spaces of the neighbouring town with commercial yards and green neighbourhood squares. The ‘WohnFabrik’ is based on the historical factory halls, integrating them into an urban setting through a very conscious use of new buildings. The centrally located ›StadtWerk‹ with community and public institutions forms a centre for communication. Flights of steps lead from the steep slopes down into the neighbourhood, with footbridges crossing the Murr river and meadow car parks to allow people to experience the river.

Size16.8 ha
+space for approx.1300 residents and 1500 workers
Project startIBA’27 Project since 2020
Timeline2019 Project start with public consultation and expert workshops
2021 Urban planning competition (international procedure calling for outlines):
Teleinternetcafe Architektur und Urbanismus (Berlin) with Treibhaus Landschaftsarchitektur (Hamburg) and Buro Happold (Bath / Munich)
2022 Federal funding as a national urban planning project
2023 First design competitions
2027 Under construction
Project initiatorBacknang municipal authorities


City of Backnang – City Planning Office
Tobias Großmann
Stiftshof 16
71522 Backnang
Phone: +49 7191 894 263

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