The AI Quarter of the Future in Heilbronn

Starting in 2024, a new urban quarter will be created in the Steinäcker district of Heilbronn as a home for an international as well as innovative AI ecosystem – but also as a space for citizens of the city of Heilbronn and numerous guests.


The Ipai main site Steinäcker

Starting in 2024, a new quarter will be built in the Steinäcker district of Heilbronn – an international campus for artificial intelligence (AI). On this page we will inform you about all current developments around the project. Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us!

The future main location Steinäcker is part of the lighthouse project Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence. As an extension of the existing buildings in the Wohlgelegen area, the new home of Ipai will be built here in the future on approximately 23 hectares.

The new campus is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and offers, among other things, test fields for AI-based products and services. Ipai thus offers business, science and the public sector a unique environment to work together on AI solutions, to network – and thus to benefit from AI together. Embedded in Heilbronn – and closely networked with numerous other players and locations, such as the education campus and its facilities – an innovation-promoting ecosystem unique in Europe is thus being created that will accelerate the application of artificial intelligence in Baden-Württemberg.

In the process, the main Steinäcker site will not only become a place where people work and research together, but also where they can stay, get supplies and spend their free time.

We are pleased to be home to the quarter of the future for AI in Europe.

Harry Mergel
Lord Mayor of the City of Heilbronn

The aim is to find the best possible fit for Ipai and for Heilbronn with the selection and at the same time to think about the international appeal beyond the region.

Moritz Gräter
Moritz Gräter
CEO Ipai

From the idea to implementation

International architectural offices were invited to a large-scale ideas and realization competition to develop their visions for the Steinäcker area. A total of nine works from four countries were submitted. In the cooperative, interdisciplinary invitational competition, all participants were asked to develop a development in several sections, with the entire area being planned in terms of urban and landscape planning. In addition to spacious outdoor and open areas, one focus of the competition was on the high flexibility of the area, in order to enable a quick reaction to future developments in the field of AI in addition to economic operation. But the focus was also on the international appeal of the area.

On March 10, 2023, the jury selected the four best designs (in alphabetical order):

  1. MVRDV from Rotterdam
  2. Wulf Architects from Stuttgart
  3. Herzog & de Meuron from Basel
  4. OMA from Rotterdam

From the four award-winning designs, Ipai – together with the members of the Heilbronn consortium – now has to choose one design as the basis for the further planning and implementation concept.

On March 28, 2023, the final selected draft of MVRDV was presented to the public in detail at a press conference. In a public exhibition of all submitted designs in April, anyone interested can then get an idea of the various works for themselves.


Local identity and international appeal

Ipai Campus Highway
Ipai Park

Architectural firm MVRDV designed the future Ipai headquarters as a neighborhood where people, technology and landscape come together. Here, AI is not only developed, but also made tangible as an integral part of the design of public space.

The highlights of the design

flexibility and individuality

The design by MVRDV for the future AI hotspot in Europe is primarily characterized by its flexibility and individuality. Inviting open spaces, different building typologies and architectural forms of expression reflect the diversity of the Ipai ecosystem.

Networking and Blending

By connecting different landscape, agricultural and structural levels, the design successfully connects and mixes people, technology and landscape. In a symbiotic combination of cultural landscape, urban and open space, the KI Quarter connects different spaces and is harmoniously networked with the environment. This networking is additionally emphasized by a 1.2 km long ring that encloses the AI district and invites you to engage in different activities with its diverse design.

Recognition Value

The uniqueness of the circular design defines a strong brand with a high recognition value, complements this image with the help of iconic buildings and thus embodies the “Global Home of Human AI” with international appeal.

Ipai Overview

Climate and Mobility

MVRDV’s design goes far beyond pure building planning for public and commercial use. Intelligent and sustainable rainwater management should not only promote the microclimate, other aspects such as optimized construction methods, recycled or bio-based materials and on-site energy generation should also reduce operational CO2 emissions.

Green corridors, which connect to the historic Roman path, promote well-being and health. Strategically offset buildings create noise barriers and allow for sufficient wind flow to cool the campus in summer.

Designed car-free, public space is reserved for pedestrians and cyclists in combination with intelligent micro-mobility. Access to an intelligent logistics system and parking spaces are located below the AI district.

A diverse program of use

Ipai Nutzungsprogramm

This is how the AI district of the future will be created

The development of the KI-Quartier will be realized in several stages. After completion of all construction phases, the area will serve as an attractive, new working and living environment for several thousand people.

In October 2022, the official invitation to tender for the international ideas and realization competition was launched. The participating offices had until the end of February 2023 to develop and officially submit their designs.

On March 8 and 9, 2023, the best four designs were selected by a jury of almost 50 members consisting of experienced expert judges – renowned architects, urban planners and landscape architects -, the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Tourism Baden-Württemberg and representatives of the Ipai consortium.

The final design will be presented to the public in detail at a press conference on March 28.

On April 21-23, anyone interested can get an idea for themselves and take a look at the final draft and all other drafts submitted as part of a public exhibition in the Inselspitze.

We will inform you promptly about the details of the exhibition via our communication channels.

More information on upcoming dates will follow shortly.


Talk to us

Transparency and exchange are important to us. Do you have any questions or suggestions about the project? Feel free to contact us at