White & GIEAG win competition for transformation of cultural heritage factory in Germany

The city of Reutlingen, in Baden-Württemberg, has selected White – with Bicon Project Management and investor GIEAG AG – as winner for the transformation of the former “Heinzelmann Areal” into a sustainable mixed-use area containing 87 homes, gastronomy, ateliers, office and co-working spaces.

While adding two new timber buildings in the surrounding streets, the proposal spares a third possible building and provides for a new public square in the heart of the development instead.


Between the 1890’s and the 1980’s (the decade when production was shut down), the textile factory Heinzelmann was an important part of Reutlingen, both as an employer and through its position in the heart of the “Oststadt”, the city’s major extension following the Industrial revolution. The competition brief specified the need for a new functional program and a clear architectural strategy through both repurposing existing structures and building anew.

“We focused on giving the site its heart and soul back, honoring the past and translating it into a contemporary feel and a future, sustainable use. We’re delighted that the city acknowledged White Arkitekter’s vision”.
Max Zinnecker, lead architect at White

New residential timber building inspired by the adjacent factory architecture, containing 12 apartments, commercial space and a bike repair shop (Image: Taktics & White)

The project includes homes of different sizes, price ranges and for all phases of life, with varied street-level amenities that will breathe life into the public areas, both during the day and in the evenings.

"Success stories from past real estate deals are not always applicable to new situations. As a team, we face up to new tasks, dare to transform, constantly reinvent ourselves and respond to changing times with innovative new business models"
Thomas Männel, member of the board at GIEAG Immobilien AG

A sustainable development – socially and ecologically

A building from the 1890 and a new construction in brick with a 'Biergarten' in its direct vicinity (Image: Taktics & White)

Marked as cultural heritage, the existing buildings that origin from between 1890 and 1950, will be transformed and completed by two new buildings in wood, bringing the project one step closer to CO2 neutrality. The roofs of the two residential buildings will be equipped with solar cells and an urban garden that will be open to all and foster biodiversity.


A garage, with its own access ramp and accommodating 150 bicycle spots (i.e. two per household), is planned – as is a ‘Biergarten’, replacing an existing car park.

Construction is expected to start in 2021.

White’s second project in Germany

White has been expanding outside of Scandinavia with an office in the United Kingdom since 2015 and several ongoing projects in Germany, Canada and East Africa.


"This competition win is very encouraging, as we recently pre-qualified for the next project in Reutlingen, a museum and city planning competition. We have also been invited to a prestigious urban design competition in Stuttgart and are working on the new School Campus in Stuttgart Feuerbach together with the German firm GHA. We are working hard to inspire German decision-makers and developers who are just as committed as we are to the need to design sustainable and equitable cities”
Barbara Vogt, architect and head of business development for Germany at White

Facts about the transformation of Heinzelmann Areal:

GFA: 16.000 sqm

Transformation: 12.000 sqm / new built: 4.000 sqm

Housing: 66% / Commercial – mixed use 33%

Small apartments 50% / large apartments 50%

Apartments: 87

Car parking: 83

Bicycle parking: 150


About Gieag Immobilien AG

GIEAG is a family-run Munich real estate company. The shares of GIEAG Immobilien AG are traded on the Munich Stock Exchange. By combining the three assets – office, residential, logistics – as well as two service areas – development and portfolio management -, the company offers uniquely stable investment opportunities in the market. The GIEAG team of experts is a guarantor for innovative and future-oriented concepts.

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