US military site in Heidelberg will become future knowledge city by KCAP

KCAP recently presented the development vision for the Patrick-Henry-Village (PHV) in Heidelberg, Germany. PHV is the largest conversion area in Heidelberg, set to become a model for the ‚knowledge city of tomorrow‘. Initiated by the International Architecture Exhibition (IBA) Heidelberg, thematic scenarios for the development and future use of the area have been designed by a group renown urban planning offices in a collaborative process. KCAP has integrated those scenarios as well as feedback from experts, the municipality and citizens in an urban development vision which forms base for the future transformation of PHV.

Potential for future development

Patrick-Henry Village, with formerly 8.000 inhabitants, is one of many former US military sites in Germany that reveals great development potential for the city. The IBA Heidelberg wants to demonstrate possible solutions for the conversion of these areas and uses PHV as their urban laboratory.

The 100 ha site of PHV will offer space for more than 10.000 inhabitants including a large number of work spaces. The development vision allows for a flexible and phased development that can respond to unforeseen and changing conditions. With a size similar to the surrounding centralities, PHV will establish itself as new city quarter of Heidelberg within Rhein-Neckar metropolitan region.

With respect for the historical urban design, buildings and infrastructures, an urban inside-out principle has been developed in which the existing street pattern with villas and rows of buildings in the green will remain to form a ‘garden city’ area. Outside of the existing parkway, micro-quarters with a densified mixed-use building program will as innovative combination of living, working and urban production be the driving force of the development. Educational buildings as polyvalent neighborhood structures add community building potential to the micro-quarters

Planning Phase_0

Phase_0 is a coproduction of IBA, five planning teams and experts. The planners MVRDV (NL), Carlo Ratti Associati (IT), ASTOC (DE), Ramboll Liveable Cities Lab (DE) and the University of Brighton (UK) elaborated future scenarios for the development of PHV. This took place during various participatory thematic Design Thinking Workshops from June until November 2016. With the outcome of Phase_0 as its base, KCAP Architects&Planners has developed the urban development vision.  

Images | © KCAP

Photography | © IBA Heidelberg_Christian Buck

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at