The Develop­ment of Inter­national Building Exhibitions

Each International Building Exhibition was created as a sign of its time under specific historic, social and political conditions. The respective stakeholders each formulated an urgent need for social reform and design, which they manifested in model projects. Due to the different temporal, spatial and financial conditions, each IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung was implemented and presented in its own way.

Therefore, the IBA differ in subject and structure, but share the limited time frame and concentration of all efforts, funds and public attention on the predefined period. Thus, they always set exceptional stimuli for a location or region. With their international discourse and ambitious quality standards, they also have strong appeal and impact both nationally and internationally.

1901 – today // Four Stages:

Over the decades, four development stages of the previous IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung can be distinguished:

1901 – 1957 // Permanent Building Exhibitions as International Showcase of Architecture Achievements

The first milestones in the history of building culture are the Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt, the Weißenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart and the Interbau (Hansaviertel) in West Berlin. They all originated in times of historical upheaval and were able to open up new architectural and design territory with strong political will and large investment budgets. This is how they wrote and built history. The IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung were planned according to a stringent social and structural programme. In this way, groundbreaking ensemble achievements could be created that were convincing above all through technical innovation as well as the aesthetic and social quality of the buildings.

1979 – 1999 // International Building Exhibitions as Means for Urban Renewal

With IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung Berlin and IBA Emscher Park, International Building Exhibitions for the first time devoted themselves to the existing building stock and not exclusively to new construction. They respectively highlighted urban neighbourhoods in need of redevelopment and the fallow legacy of industrialisation. Process-oriented work and the participation of the residents became more and more important, and the quality of the processes themselves gained importance. In addition to creative innovation and an expanded understanding of architecture, there was also an increasing debate on social and ecological issues. As a result, IBA Berlin and IBA Emscher Park gained international visibility, marking a pinnacle in recent IBA history.

2000 – 2013 // International Building Exhibitions in a changing planning culture

With the IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung Fürst-Pückler-Land in Brandenburg, the IBA Stadtumbau (Urban Redevelopment) in Saxony-Anhalt and the IBA Hamburg, IBA carried out a shift to local and regional development programmes. Here, the format was deliberately used at the intersection between urban and regional development policy objectives on the one hand and strategic planning and project development on the other hand. Numerous locally effective projects ensured the sustainability and acceptance of the IBA locally, but attracted international attention through topics of global importance. They were financed with the help of sophisticated municipal and state funding programmes. IBA Hamburg achieved a strong leverage effect in private investments with public funding.

2010 – 2023 // International Building Exhibitions on a New Scale and in Transnational Cooperation

The current IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung Basel, Heidelberg, Thüringen (Thuringa), Parkstad, Wien (Vienna) and Stuttgart illustrate the thematic differentiation from local contexts in regard to programmes and projects as well as their international appeal. In addition, they explore the potential and challenge of “planning from below” and are committed to regaining socio-political relevance for architecture and urban development and experimenting with various financing models.

The IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung at a glance:

1901 Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt
1927 Weißen­hof­sied­lung Stutt­gart
1957 Interbau Berlin
1979 – 1984/87 IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung Berlin
1989 – 1999 IBA Emscher Park
2000 – 2010 IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land
2002 – 2010 IBA Stadt­um­bau
2006 – 2013 IBA Hamburg
2010 – 2020 IBA Basel
2012 – 2022 IBA Heidelberg
2012 – 2023 IBA Thüringen
2013 – 2021 IBA Parkstad
2016 – 2022 IBA_Wien
2017 – 2027 IBA Stuttgart