Mass, energy, speed: Ulm’s new city quarter gets the equation right
  • Location
    Albert-Einstein-Platz, Ulm
  • Project
    New mixed-use quarter
  • Procedure
    Investor competition
  • Client
    DC Developments und DC Values, Hamburg
  • Architect of record
    Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer
  • Structural engineering
    Schüssler Plan, Frankfurt a. M. (up to SP 4);
    Brendebach Ingenieure, Wissen (from SP 5)
  • Technical building equipment (heating, ventilation, sanitary)
    Deerns Stuttgart (up to SP 4);
    Aschauer+ Burkhardt, Stadtilm (from SP 5)
  • Technical building equipment (electronic)
    Deerns, Stuttgart (up to SP 4);
    CEP, Stuttgart (from SP 5)
  • Facade planning
    DS-Plan, Köln (up to SP 4);
    Scharl, Ehingen (from SP 5), Wolfsberger, Hamburg (Beratung Bauherr)
  • Building physics
    Graner+Partner, Bergisch Gladbach
  • Fire Protection
    umt, Ulm
  • Implementation planning
    npp Noack Planung und Projektentwicklung, Dresden
  • Project controlling
    Witte Projektmanagement, Frankfurt a. M. (up to SP 4); nps Bauprojektmanagment, Ulm (from SP 5)
  • Traffic planning
    Dr. Brenner, Aalen
  • Lighting design
    Hailight, Innsbruck/ AT
  • Construction period
  • Service phases
  • Gross floor area
    78,500 m²
  • Awards
    Iconic Awards 2023;
    polis award 2023
  • Photographic and film documentation
  • This project is from the joint period of meyerschmitzmorkramer.

Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, where the Sedelhöfe now stands, a mixed-use project we designed. With his famous equation, Einstein showed how mass, energy, and speed are all interconnected. This principle can also be boldly applied to the Sedelhöfe – a complex of four buildings located opposite Ulm’s main railway station, adjacent to the central pedestrian zone.

“Instead of a shopping centre, we and our client opted for a simple concept: a piece of European city. Four buildings with shops, restaurants, offices and more than 100 apartments, arranged around Albert-Einstein-Platz: an urban quarter that forms a link between the city centre and the railway station.”

E= mc²

The Sedelhöfe ensemble combines living, working, and retail on around 80,000 m² and results from our aspiration to inject new life and energy (E) into Ulm’s city center with the right use of mass (m). We achieved this, for example, by slowing down the speed (c) of daily life by creating quality public spaces and an inviting streetscape that encourages strolling and lingering. Standing in the heart of the Sedelhöfe – Albert-Einstein-Square, open to all sides – you immediately experience this effect: deceleration as a source of renewed energy. The system also pumps new energy into the city by finally creating the long-needed connection between the city center, the train station, and the iconic Ulmer Münster plaza.

Inner-City Quarter

Acting as an urban hub, the Sedelhöfe unifies previously disconnected areas into one cohesive inner-city district. Its true strength, however, lies in its essence as a vibrant, self-contained quarter. Three of the four five-story buildings in the ensemble offer modern office space, with generous window fronts on the lower floors activating the streetscape with retail. The upper levels of the central building (3rd–5th floors) contain 112 apartments arranged around a spacious courtyard garden. The individual buildings feature distinctly designed facades in natural stone or metal, reinforcing the dynamic character of the quarter. And nearly the entire development sits atop a three-level underground parking facility (2nd-4th basement levels).

Housing, Living, Business

For a major city center location, the substantial residential component ensures an eclectic mixed-use diversity, so vital for a thriving urban quarter. After all, the coexistence of living, working, commerce, and public space has always been the European city’s formula for success. Our office transforms this ancient placemaking wisdom into thriving contemporary urban living environments. The Ulm Sedelhöfe stands as a testament to this commitment.

Project team
  • Christoph Lesch
  • Fernando González Cardero
  • Engin Esen
  • Viktoria Grebe
  • Gregor Gutscher
  • Timo Heinzmann
  • Kai Hesse
  • Jan Jermer-Urban
  • Klaus Kirchner
  • Simon Kortemeier
  • Israel Moreno Torres
  • Julia Pagels
  • Janek Reiner
  • Marco Röttgen
  • Alexander Willems