International Building exhibition Hamburg


The ongoing IBA, International Building exhibition, which started in March 2013 in Hamburg, is soon coming to an end (on the 7th of November). The building exhibition experiences this year with innovative architectural solutions for pressing problems of the urban community life, such as the growing diversity of its population, the low attractiveness of the city centre versus its suburbs, and the paradox of growth and sustainability in cities.

Focus Areas:

The International Building exhibition is investigating three major challenges of contemporary cities:

Under the term Cosmopolis the exhibition explores how ethnic and cultural diversity can be transformed into strengths through spatial interventions and participative conception of spaces. The projects reach from new educational facilities to art installations and participatory projects for kids. Whereas the promotion of local economies includes systematic measures reaching beyond employment initiatives in order to help the resident population gain qualifications, Art installations try to promote the cosmopolitan character of neighbourhoods to a larger public.

Metrozones is an umbrella term for the transformation of inner neighbourhoods into more attractive areas. Here, the IBA points out the redevelopment of areas in transition, such as old industries. The projects are testing the renewal of abandoned places into mixed (living, working, shopping, etc.) and “walkable” urban areas, and their metamorphosis into new green areas.

Cities and Climate change, the last focus area of the exhibition, challenges the combination of growth and sustainability with designing sustainable building and new landscapes of renewable energy production.


The IBA Hamburg proposes activities throughout the whole city. They organize guided tours, exhibitions and events until the 07th of November. It is aimed at specialized people and others alike. So don’t miss out on it, if you have a chance to attend.

Comments and thoughts

On the Internet site of the IBA Hamburg, the term of creativity” pops up quite a number of times. When you visit the exhibition personally, you might question in how far the architectural experiences attain the social goal of integration of the locals and requalification of the cosmopolitan neighbourhoods, and in how far they serve as an excuse for the development of a “creative district”, as explored in Richard Florida’s theories. In his theory, Richard Florida looks at the potential of the multiculturalism of neighbourhoods to attract new economical actors that replace the former inhabitants with the “creative class”.

Did you already attend this year’s International Building exhibition? If yes, do you have any general thoughts or critiques that you might want to share with us?

Find more information about the projects here:



Cities and Climate change Activities

Find the program here:

More about the IBA:

Presentation (tours):



  1. Reblogged this on Overthecity and commented:
    Wish I was there, but still one month to go!

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