The AI district of the future in Heilbronn

From 2025, a new district will be built on the Steinäcker site in Heilbronn as a home for an international and innovative AI ecosystem – but also as a space for citizens of the city of Heilbronn and numerous guests.


From 2025, a new district will be built on the Steinäcker site in Heilbronn – an international campus for artificial intelligence (AI). On this page we will inform you about all current developments surrounding the project. Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us!

The future main location Steinäcker is part of the Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence lighthouse project. As an extension of the existing buildings in the Wohlgelegen area, IPAI’s new home will be built here in the future on around 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, network – and thus benefit from AI together. Embedded in Heilbronn – and in close networking with numerous other actors and locations, such as the educational campus and its facilities – a unique, innovation-promoting ecosystem is being created in Europe that will accelerate the application of artificial intelligence in Baden-Württemberg.

The Steinäcker headquarters should not only be a place where people can work and research together, but also where they can stay, get supplies and spend their free time.


In a large-scale ideas and implementation competition, international architectural offices were invited 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 generous outdoor and open areas, the focus of the competition was on a high level of flexibility of the area in order to enable economical operation and a quick response to future developments in the field of AI. But the international appeal of the area was also in focus.

On March 10, 2023, the jury selected the best four designs:

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

On March 28, 2023, the final selected draft of MVRDV was presented to the public in detail at a press conference.

The Global Home of Human AI

Ipai Entrance

Highlights of the draft

The MVRDV architectural firm designed the future IPAI headquarters as a neighborhood where people, technology and landscape come together. Here, AI is not only developed, but can also be experienced as an integral part of the design of public spaces.

MVRDV’s design for the future AI hotspot in Europe is primarily characterized by its flexibility and individuality. Inviting open spaces, different building typologies and architectural expressions reflect the diversity of the IPAI ecosystem.

Networking and mixing

By connecting different landscape, agricultural and structural levels, the design successfully connects and mixes people, technology and landscape. In a symbiotic coexistence of cultural landscape, urban and open space, the KI district connects different spaces and networks harmoniously with the surrounding area. This networking is further emphasized by a 1.2 km long ring that encloses the AI district and, with its diverse design, invites you to take part in various activities.

Ipai Overview

Recognition value

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

Climate and mobility

The MVRDV 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 that connect to the historic Roman path promote well-being and health. Strategically positioned buildings create noise barriers and allow sufficient wind flow to cool the campus in summer.

Designed to be car-free, public spaces are reserved for pedestrians and cyclists in combination with intelligent micromobility. Access to an intelligent logistics system and parking spaces are located below the AI quarter.