Planning for the Internationale Bauausstellung (International Building Exhibition) Stuttgart has already commenced with a call for projects and an exhibitor selection process. Festivals and other micro events will be happening from now until 2027 when the official IBA’27 exhibition will open its doors.
The IBA first gained its foothold in 1907, when 12 artists and 12 industrialists established the Deutscher Werkbund (German Association of Craftsmen) with the objective of enhancing the quality and international presence of German-made products across the arts, industry and crafts.
The Weißenhofsiedlung (Weissenhof Estate) in Stuttgart is one of the primary embodiments of the Neues Bauen (New Way of Building) movement. This estate, which is now a World Heritage Site, represented new ways of living promoted by the Deutscher Werkbund and was established as part of the first IBA that took place in 1927. Leading architects of the time, including Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Bruno Taut, Peter Berens and Hans Scharoun all joined together in designing the twenty one buildings on the Weißenhofsiedlung.
Fast forward 100 years, the city of Stuttgart is planning to relive the success of the exhibit with IBA’27. The corporate design is based on a modular system that will evolve over the years through the introduction of new visual elements that will replace former ones.
The geometric forms of the IBA’27 logotype directly reference the Weißenhof Siedlung, which was marked by cubic architecture, flat roofs, simple facades and open plan interiors. The opposition of boxed and circular elements also serves to reflect the controversy of the architecture at the time. There was an interplay of open-minded ideals against conservative views, modernism against tradition and flat roofs against gable roofs.
The visual identity touches upon an overarching aim of IBA’27, which entails bringing together small and large building blocks in the metropolis to create a mixed-use productive city. This will involve turning public transport hubs into urban meeting places and reviving the Stuttgart Weissenhof for residents, the academic community and general public. IBA’27 has been met with positive feedback by municipalities, investors, housing associations and companies looking to band together and mobilize change in urban and regional development.
Building exhibitions typically run for ten years and end with a presentation of results to the global public. This encompasses buildings, neighborhoods and infrastructure schemes, as well as innovative planning instruments and social, cultural and ecological projects that will impact decades to come.