kva update: soft house to break ground in spring
kva update: soft house to break ground in spring kva update: soft house to break ground in spring
feb 21, 2012

kva update: soft house to break ground in spring

‘soft house’ to open in spring of 2013, by KVA matx, hamburg, germanyall images courtesy of KVA matx




the soft house project in hamburg, germany is a winning competition entry designed by the KVA matx team for the international bauaustellung (iba), a prestigious german building tradition that dates to 1901. the iba hamburg explores the ‘city in climate change’ and the balance of urban growth and climate conservation in the planned ‘leap’ to the elbe islands just south of hamburg’s hafencity district. the iba hamburg and the associated international garden exhibit (iga) will open to the public in april, 2013. over 50,000 visitors each week are expected to visit the iba/iga exhibition projects.


the soft house, under construction in summer 2012, is a set of live/work row house units which offer a new model for low carbon construction and an ecologically responsive lifestyle that can be personalized to meet homeowner needs. the soft house demonstrates how domestic infrastructure can become ‘soft’—engaging flexible living concepts, carbon neutral solid wood (brettstapel) construction, and wireless building controls with responsive and performative textiles which create the public identity of the architecture. through the conceptual reframing of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ materials and the integration of architecture, mobile textiles and clean energy infrastructure the soft house transforms the german passivehaus typology, offering a much more flexible living experience.


the soft house brings together an interdisciplinary, international design team which includes kva matx, 360 architekten, helbig /knippers advanced engineering, buro happold climate engineering, the patrizia development group and a consortium of building industry partners. more than 100 iba partners and 40 private investors are supporting the iba ‘leap’ across the elbe and it is anticipated that by 2013 over 1200 new dwellings will be put up on iba hamburg’s territory, with an additional 5000 new dwellings projected by 2020.


soft house construction starts in spring, 2012 and will open to the public in april, 2013.



axonometric view of low-voltage building systems



cross sections of facade system in use: (above) summer day/ night, (below) winter day/ night



soft house site – hamburg, germany



soft house – physical model


soft house – physical model – evening view



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here

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