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Smart Price Houses


Affordable, high-quality construction: under the project title of Smart Price Houses, the IBA Hamburg is showcasing inexpensive townhouses that enable people with modest means to buy or rent housing in the city.

Back to the City: the Impact of the “Urban Renaissance”

Cities are once again popular places to live, as they offer the chance to combine work, family life, and free time in one location, as well as attracting people with their urban vitality. This “urban renaissance” trend has shown itself to be no mere passing fad in Germany, as clearly demonstrated by the skyrocketing land and rent price increases over recent years. This has meant that families on low incomes can barely afford to rent inner-city housing, let alone buy a property.

Low-Cost Construction is Possible in Inner Cities

The Smart Price Houses that are set to be built in the run-up to 2013 have harnessed experience in the fields of ready-built structures, modular construction, mass production, and prefabricated units in order to create affordable buildings. The costs of construction can be further reduced through alternative construction financing strategies or self-assembly.

High-Quality and Sustainable Architecture for those with Modest Means

The Smart Price Houses show that low-cost construction does not have to mean scrimping on aesthetically pleasing and sustainable architecture. Each building takes a different, individual approach to creating an aesthetically sophisticated, contemporary building using low-cost engineering and design. And by “contemporary” we are referring not only to their architectural appearance, but also to the way in which they respond to socially relevant issues of ecology, sustainability, and energy and resource conservation, as well as changing social patterns in community living.

Four Model Concepts for Sustainable, Low-Cost Construction

Four of the six winning designs are now being implemented, following a two-tier process in which investors were required only at the second stage. These designs are concepts by Adjaye Associates, London, Fusi & Ammann Architekten, Hamburg, Kaden + Klingenbeil from Berlin and BeL Sozietät für Architektur, Cologne. With their low-cost yet sustainable approach, combined with a modular design, the Smart Price Houses make a significant contribution to the IBA’s key themes of Cities and Climate Change (“New Energies for the City”) and Cosmopolis (“New Chances in the City”).