Situated in the district of Kirchheim, Patrick-Henry-Village was built by the US Army as a residential complex between 1952 and 1955. The area covers 97.2 hectares, roughly the same size as Heidelberg’s Old Town. That makes it the largest single contiguous redevelopment site in Heidelberg. The site contains around 1,500 housing units, schools, a supermarket, sports facilities and a cinema. The street ‘Grasweg’, the B535 federal highway and the nearby A5 freeway provide direct transport links.
Development of Patrick Henry Village is a flagship project in which the International Architecture Exhibition (IBA Heidelberg) is closely involved. A spectacular vision for this site was presented in March 2017. Internationally renowned urban planners, including Kees Christiaanse, Winy Maas and Carlo Ratti, created the design for a “Knowledge city of Tomorrow”. In their concept, PHV has the potential to become a living and working environment for 10,000 to 15,000 people and a model location for the use of digital technologies, innovative mobility concepts and climate-neutral energy supply. Since summer 2019 the concept is being concretized in a so called "Dynamic Master Plan". Citizens submitted 290 suggestions by participating in a public consultation using the webpage www.phv-mitsprechen.de. The outcome has been sent to the City Council, which will decide about the "Dynamic Master Plan" in March 2020.
The development vision seeks to retain the basic characteristics of the urban structure given to PHV by the Americans. The existing street network, with detached houses and rows of buildings, will form a central green space at the heart of the quarter. This “new garden town” will be augmented by the existing parklands surrounding the former officers’ residences. These villas and their garages are to be transformed into a “start-up village”. In contrast to this, there are plans to create a highly diverse and densified area on the outskirts of PHV.
The project will develop micro-quarters in the east, south and extended west area of PHV, with dense building development and a mixed-use concept for living, working and urban production purposes. At the heart of each micro-quarter are places of knowledge, with educational and cultural offerings for local residents. Larger buildings will be located in the east, bordering the freeway. Division of PHV into micro-quarters means the overall site can be developed on a flexible, step-by-step basis.