Built in the 1950s, Benjamin Franklin Village in north-eastern Mannheim is – with its 88 hectares and 220 buildings – one of the largest former residential areas of the US armed forces stationed in Europe. Since the beginning of its revitalization in 2015, the site that is embedded in a spacious park, has undergone rapid change. By 2025, conversion and densification will result in a district for around 9,000 people with a variety of uses that range from work, care and training to cultural, leisure and recreational facilities.

The site itself measures some 100 x 70 metres and is located in Franklin Mitte’s central district. While the main focus for Franklin Mitte is “Living for Families”, the impulse behind our particular project is the creation of a small community whose range of inhabitants exemplifies diversity and social mixing at all levels. Communal areas form the heart and catalyst of a culture of solidarity and coexistence: in this, the “extended living room” or neighbourhood forum, with its communal kitchen and common room, becomes a focal point for community life in the neighbourhood. It is complemented by a children’s playroom and a workroom.

The new buildings are planned in a timber frame construction with hollow box ceilings on an axial grid of 62.5 cm that results in a high degree of plan variability. The very different requirements resulting from the mix of uses can thus be implemented economically and with an appropriately raised sustainable aspiration.


  • Residential quarter in timber with social common areas


  • Innovatio GbR
  • Profund Bauträger und Projektentwicklung GmbH


  • gross floor area: 8.560 m²
  • competition: 2018
  • 2018 — 2022

project team