Tübingen, Germany

In­spired by the ver­nac­u­lar

Social housing client with ambitions for sustainability

The client GWG Tübingen is a social housing organization that provides socially and environmentally responsible housing for large groups in society. On a plot in the district of Derendingen, the client issued a competition for a mixed housing development of 12000m2 – or around 145 units.

The purpose of the competition is to propose an affordable and sustainable development of high quality for which the connection to the existing and in part listed buildings and landscapes is resolved with a unique plan.

The project draws inspiration from the historical village character of the district of Derendingen which is located near central Tübingen and on the outskirts of the Rammert nature reserve.

The location of the plot is Sieben-Höfe Strasse, which literally refers to the 7 farms that the road once connected. Studies of traditional farm typologies for 2, 3 and 4 winged ‘höfe’ informed the new typologies to offer a close connection between the new development and the existing village character.

The competition proposes a new dorf-strasse, a car-free village street connecting the 7 new hof-clusters of the development. Each hof-cluster has a shared courtyard space and additional social spaces connect to the dorf-strasse. Buildings face a new ‘dorf-strasse’ either with a gable or the long side. From the village street is also the entrance to the underground parking facility.

Social spaces along the new village street

Nordic vernacular housing clusters ’tun’ have inspired Vandkunsten for decades now the office vocabulary has been expanded with hof-clusters as social and urban ways of designing housing developments.

Social spaces along the dorf-strasse

The dorf-strasse connects to another path to the East, and to the West is the village church and the cemetery

Buildings face a new 'dorf-strasse' either with a gable or the long side.

Project facts


Project name: Sieben-Höfe-Strasse

Category:Co-Housing, Housing, Planning

Client: GWG Tübingen

Location: Tübingen, Germany

Date: 2021

Status: Under development

Number of units: 145


Program: Housing

Activity: Urban planning, housing design

Job type: Competition win

Contact: Nel Jan Schipull,

Project group: Wiebke Neymeyr, Asbjørn Staunstrup Lund, Thais Espersen, Nel Jan Schipull