MVRDV wins competition to deliver AI-focused business park in Heilbronn, Germany
By Josh Niland|
Wednesday, Mar 29, 2023
MVRDV has just announced its successful bid in an international competition to design an artificial intelligence-focused business complex in the German city of Heilbronn.
The new 265,000-square-meter (65-acre) Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence (Ipai) will include a range of business and innovation-focused facilities with a communications center, housing block, restaurant, and early childhood education amenities and is aimed at competing with other global tech centers in Shenzhen and Silicon Valley in line with the country's three-year plan to increase its competitiveness in the sector overall.
The circular plan for the development provides an easily recognizable branding tool for the city as well as the project’s clients. Two central axes and a 1.2-kilometer-long (.75-mile) path help define the site’s pedestrian circulation, with a sprint track and skatepark among the other activities serving as key cogs in an east-west oriented health corridor that supplements the Ipai’s primary commercial and technical functions.
MVRDV says it will be a “destination for curious visitors to see the development of world-changing technologies first hand, to interact with the people behind their creation, and to learn about the intentions behind their work.”
A series of 27-meter (88.5-foot) modular buildings will be constructed alongside multiple structures that the firm calls “specials,” – meaning that their forms and dimensions will stand apart from the otherwise rectangular facilities. Within this, sited in the heart of the plan’s central plaza, a round tower will serve as the home of the communications center that doubles as a hub for public programming as conceived in cooperation with Berlin-based placemaking specialists REALACE.
“The developments we have seen recently in the field of AI demand the attention of people from all walks of life, and with this design we create a compact campus for this to happen,” MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs said finally. “The striking form of the campus can help to propel it to an international stage, attracting world-class talent. Meanwhile, the welcoming and engaging atmosphere, even the recognisable appearance, make this place a destination where people can engage in the future of this technology.”
Rotterdam-based firm LOLA will provide a parametric landscape design for the project. MVRDV says the plan is projected to be 100% carbon-neutral over the course of its lifespan. Construction timelines were not made available at press time.
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