the development of ISA INTERNATIONALEs STADTBAUATELIER
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17. December 2018

The ISA Internationales Stadtbauatelier was founded as “Stadtbauatelier” at the end of the 70ies in the twentieth century in Stuttgart/ Germany, and exists now for more than 30 years. From the beginning it was conceived as a planning and realisation office in city planning, city architecture and urban design. It served as an instrument to work on urban planning problems and tasks, which have been given by the German city and state governments to the ISA Stadtbauatelier. At first, personally connected with the urban design and urban development department of the Institute for City Planning in the Faculty of Architecture and City Planning of the University in Stuttgart,it is today the same with the European Institute for Planning EIP, an Institute at the IZKT, International Centre for Cultural and Technological Studies at the University of Stuttgart. Due to the fact that most of these urban planning tasks asked for research as well as for practical solutions, the ISA Stadtbauatelier had to connect in these projects research work, practical planning, and realisation. Based on this double task ISA Stadtbauatelier developed, up to now, in three periods: the 80ies, the 90ies and the actual period of the 21st century.

Consulting, Planning and Realization for German Cities

From the beginning the office worked on a broad range of planning tasks, from public space design, for instance, for the cities of Leonberg, Ulm and Lübeck to building plans, structure, and urban development plans for cities like Esslingen , Flensburg or Rendsburg. But the main emphasis of the planning projects was the development of village and city architecture concepts - three dimensional urban design concepts for villages and whole cities - , as for Moelln or Ludwigsburg, which served as communal and legal basis for urban design recommendations and urban design guidelines. So, urban design plans and guidelines have been developed for cities like Lübeck, Mölln, Rendsburg in Northern Germany, and for Bietigheim, Ludwigsburg or Stuttgart in Southern Germany.

Serving the German Reunion at all Levels

In the 90ies, with the reunion of Germany, the experience of the 80ies as well as new problem-solving ideas for new urban development tasks have been asked for. The ISA Stadtbauatelier was asked by different federal governments, city governments, and semi-public urban renewal institutions to participate in the giant task to develop a coherent system of urban development, urban structure, and urban design plans with regulations for the former East-German cities.
In this period new kinds of tasks have been added to the work portfolio of the ISA Stadtbauatelier. Especially in the field of comprehensive urban development planning as for Potsdam and Talcahuano, planning for world heritage cities as, for example, Würzburg and urban design and architectural remodelling concepts for prefabricated mass housing areas for cities like Jena or Gera. These tasks went parallel to ongoing projects in the field of public space, i.e. street- and square design and realisation, urban design for industrial areas, urban planning and urban design in Germany. In addition, the international activity of the ISA Stadtbauatelier with consulting activities and projects in South America began. In Santiago de Chile, urban renewal plans and urban design plans have been developed in cooperation with the University of Chile, and in Talcahuano urban design and urban land use plans in cooperation with the Universidad de Bio-Bio/Chile.

Learning from old Cities to build New Towns

In the ongoing period of the 21st century the planning activity of ISA Stadtbauatelier has deepened in the field of public space design and industrial planning. The working fields enlarged through the planning of new towns up to 500.000 inhabitants and big scale landscape planning, especially in Korea and China. Furthermore, planning and realisation of street and square designs for cities like Esslingen or Stuttgart, comprehensive public space masterplans, as well as street furniture design and guidelines, and comprehensive city light plans on the other side enlarged the working portfolio of the ISA Stadtbauatelier. Parts of these projects have been elaborated in new forms of private-public partnership and in intensive citizen participation design and decision processes. In the field of industrial area planning, building plans, design guidelines, as well as research and practice have been and still are important parts of ISA Stadtbauatelier in Europe.

Developing International Activities

In the same period the international activities of ISA Stadtbauatelier grown in Europe, especially in France with projects for the New Town of Cergy-Pontoise/Paris and in a large scale in Asia - at the beginning with urban planning projects for central business districts and housing areas in Seoul/South Korea, later followed by planning projects for different tasks as interior design, individual houses, planning of suburban technical shopping malls in Seoul and Busan. Furthermore, masterplans for some new towns in the Seoul Metropolitan Area have been developed. Since the beginning of the 21st century the planning tasks of the ISA Stadtbauatelier in China followed up to now, especially in the working fields of architecture, public space, urban renewal, mass housing, planning of new towns, special urban development plans and regional planning concepts. They are enlarged by activities in the fields of regional planning for world heritage areas, holiday resorts and other planning tasks. Special working fields became regional planning for touristic economy, new town planning, and landscape design and city ecology.

From Stadtbauatelier to ISA Internationales Stadtbauatelier

The office was founded as Stadtbauatelier in 1978. Since 1998, for practical reasons the office began to add the abbreviation SBA to the name of Stadtbauatelier and became well known as such - especially in Asia and South-America. Due to logo registration failure and the need to avoid confusion and taking in account the importance of the international activities of the office, it has been renounced to the brand SBA and registered in 2007 as ISA Internationales Stadtbauatelier.