Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

Smart Material House (infra-lightweight concrete), IBA Hamburg

Our proposal is a prize-winning scheme selected for construction in Hamburg Germany in the context of the IBA (international building exhibition) there and as sponsored by the City of Hamburg and Arch+ magazine. The Smart Material House provides 6 flexible live-work types for a 4-storey apartment house within a new master plan for housing and new landscapes. The apartments are available at low price to eligible families or individuals from the community.

The design goes back to very simple, almost archaic material: concrete and wood, which can be prefabricated and then quickly installed on site. Especially formative for the design and space is the planned use of infra-lightweight concrete walls as “load-bearing thermal insulation.” The solid wall panels, which are gently curved concavely, are multitasking elements and will function as supporting elements, perimetral walls, and as thermal insulation at once, so the bearing structure remains exposed both inside and outside, without any additional finishes or cold bridge problems. For the floors, glued-laminated timber panels will be used that are extremely sturdy and are environmentally sound.

Project Information

Architects — Barkow Leibinger, Berlin, Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger


Prof. Regine Leibinger, Technische Universität Berlin, Institut für Architektur, Fachgebiet Baukonstruktion und Entwerfen


Team Design - Heiko Krech (Projektleitung), Philipp Raum, Lukas Weder, Michael Bölling, Sebastian Ernst, Jonathan Kleinhample, Charlotte Krefeld






Hamburg, Germany



1.500 sqm






2013  60th Annual Progressive

Architecture Awards

2012  Global Holcim Innovation, 2nd prize

2011  Holcim Awards

Acknowledgement Prize Europe


IBA Hamburg


Structural Engineer

Prof. Dr. Mike Schlaich, Technische Universität Berlin, Fachgebiet Entwerfen und Konstruieren Massivbau


Energy Performance

Prof. Matthias Schuler, Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH, Stuttgart