Newsletter 119 from 15th June 2010

Internationale Bauaustellung (IBA) Fürst-Pückler-Land

1. On show: Stage is set for the reconquering of a landscape
2. Moving pictures: Film Nights under a starry sky in the mine pit
3. Guided tour: "Garden delights"
4. Walk 'n' talk: Utopia for Pritzen on trial
5. Time warp: Mediaeval spectacle at the bio-towers
6. Swell homes: Floating houses conquer Lusatian waters
7. Film footage: Students shoot advertisement in Meuro open-cast mine

(1) On show:

Stage is set for the reconquering of a landscape

The final IBA exhibition, "The Reconquering of a Landscape", was reopened on 20 May for industry professionals for the presentation of the additional modules "Inspiration - development of the Großräschen Süd pilot area" and "Mine redevelopment achievements". The BASF Lounge is also new to the IBA Terraces and a place where visitors can lean back on "Myto" and relax on "PU". The references are to the polyurethane cushions and cube seats and cantilever chairs designed by Konstantin Grcic. The distinctive furniture is made of special plastic materials and comes from the BASF product range. One highlight of the event was the lecture by Prof. Dr. Harald Bodenschatz of the TU Berlin who gave a critique of the IBA, entering into a detailed analysis and assessment of the challenges of the IBA's work and the presentation of its results. A border location and cuts in the public purse did not make it easy to produce a fitting presentation of the IBA. At the same time he recognised in this problematic situation the very thing which is paradigmatic about the Lusatian IBA, namely the preservation of its heritage as an industrialised society and its transition to the future as part of a "creative process of interpreting a quite unique history, some aspects of which are of international significance". His presentation was followed by a panel discussion about the past and the future opportunities of the region. The evening ended with a performance by the Vaivèn dance and drama group and with some surreal short films of the Welzow-Süd open-cast mine which were produced in the faculty of 3D modelling at the Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU Cottbus).
IBA exhibition: "The Reconquering of a Landscape"
Vaivèn dance and drama group

Nathalie Hünermund dramatises the landscape with her performance. Foto: Steffen Rasche

(2) Moving pictures:

Film Nights under a starry sky in the mine pit

The Film Nights at Lake Ilse are scheduled to be held for the fourth time from 17 to 19 June. Gradually filling up with water, the former coal mine at the foot of the IBA Terraces is the ideal setting for Bernhard Sallmann's documentary film, "Dreams of Lusatia", which depicts the dramatic changes in the Lusatian landscape brought about by the lignite mining and which won a DEFA Foundation award in 2009 at the Cottbus Film Festival. The film is showing on the first evening. After the film there will be an opportunity to talk to the director in person. On the programme for Saturday and Sunday are "Family Rules" and "Whisky & Vodka", two relatively new German films and must-see examples of the cinema of the absurd at its best. The doors open at 21:00 hrs. The screening starts at nightfall. Tickets cost 4 euros, a 2-day ticket costs 7 euros and a 3-day ticket costs 10 euros. One way of getting in the mood for a wonderful evening is to go on the IBA tour "Sun, Moon and Mars". There is a shuttle bus from Cottbus to Großräschen and back every evening.
Film Festival Cottbus
"Sun, Moon and Mars"

Enjoy movies in a great scenery. Foto: Rupp

(3) Guided tour:

"Garden delights"

This is the slogan for a Germany-wide initiative on the second weekend in June involving events based around the theme of parks and gardens. The Brandenburg regional horticultural association, Gartenland Brandenburg e. V., has also set up a varied programme. Gardens and grounds open to visitors in Lusatia include the "Pfarrgarten Saxdorf", the "Ostdeutscher Rosengarten" rose garden in Forst, and the "Stiftung Fürst-Pückler-Museum Schloß und Park Branitz". The Branitz estate of Hermann Fürst von Pückler-Muskau, after whom the IBA is named, is putting on special guided tours through the park and a special exhibition entitled "Simply Imperial! The Gardens of the Bonaparte Family". Another attraction for visitors is the exhibition which has just opened, The Green Princess", which is about Lucie, the wife and companion of the Prince. For more information visit

(4) Walk 'n' talk:

Utopia for Pritzen on trial

The “Pritzen Arts Barn” opened its doors again at Whitsun and is running an exhibition entitled "Heritage landscape of Pritzen - Utopia conducts self-review" which looks back on the past ten years with the IBA in this special place. A walk 'n' talk session on 19 June at 15:00 hrs. is an invitation for face-to-face contact with those who run the Arts Barn and other key players, and another opportunity to ask questions, such as what has become a reality in terms of the plans to link the development of Pritzen with art and culture after it was spared from the mining? Why has it not been possible for many ambitious ideas to come to fruition? What will be the future direction for Pritzen when the IBA has gone? The event is open to anyone interested. The exhibition will be on until 18 July and will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 to 18:00 hrs.

Walk 'n' talk trough the art scenery Pritzen. Foto: Lena Schmidt

(5) Time warp:

Mediaeval spectacle at the bio-towers

Lovers of industrial heritage and the Middle Ages can delve into ages past at the Lauchhammer bio-towers on 19 and 20 June. This is the second time that a mediaeval spectacle will have been held here - a fitting location in that the industrial monument bears a striking resemblance to ancient fortifications. In addition to camp life reconstructions with live handicraft demonstrations and colourful market stalls, there will be a ferret circus, falconry displays, raree shows for children, role-playing games and mediaeval banquets. Mediaeval mood music will be provided throughout the day by the groups "Asatrú" and the "Wechselbälger". A fire show is on the programme for the evening and a performance by the group "Vogelfrey". The spectacle will run from 10:00 to 24:00 hrs. on the Saturday and from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. on the Sunday.
Those staying in Lauchhammer might like to see the art castings at the "Kunstgussmuseum" as well. The collection of door fittings of Ilse and Rainer Möckel will be on display from 3 June in an exhibition entitled "Come on in! Cast iron door latches and strike plates". It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 13:00 to 17:00 hrs.
Lauchhammer bio-towers

Medieval activity in big pileworks. Foto: Arjen De Wit

(6) Swell homes:

Floating houses conquer Lusatian waters

Ever since the hippy movement discovered floating architecture as an expression of individual lifestyle, dwellings have been built on the water everywhere in the world. This architecture is symbolic of a new attitude towards life, indicative of "freedom" but also of "exclusivity". The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland led the way and showed how it was done, and now this form of housing is also gaining ground in Germany - in places like Lusatia. The IBA has plans for these flagship developments to be a hallmark of the newly emerging Lusatian Lakeland. Visions have already become a reality in that Karin Mietke has been the proud landlady of the first floating holiday home on Lake Partwitz since 2006. Metalworker Thomas Wilde is living his dream just one lake further along. His steel and glass "ar-che" has been afloat on Lake Geierswalde since last summer, setting the tone and defining the style for the Lakeland. A second house is currently being constructed and will be waterborne in the next few days. The next few years will see another 20 floating houses and nine shoreside houses added to the 54-metre pier construction, forming the largest floating housing development in Germany. The house already in situ on Lake Geierswalde can also be rented with immediate effect through the Brandenburg Information and Reservation System (IRS) at and While these houses are primarily intended for holidays and living on the water, diving school instructor Gunter Walter from the leisure centre (Vetschau) uses his house as an idyllic workplace where he runs a beach bar and diving courses. "Progress was slow to start with because floating architecture was an experiment for all involved", said IBA project coordinator Michael Feiler, "but now it has become a major part of the development strategy for the Lusatian Lakeland".
floating holiday home on Lake Partwitz
Metalworker Thomas Wilde
leisure centre Vetschau

During the next days the second swimming house from steeltec37 comes on the Geierswalder lake. Foto: Kerstin Noack

(7) Film footage:

Students shoot advertisement in Meuro open-cast mine

Last weekend a 60-second promotional film was shot by students from the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy on the bed of the emerging Lake Ilse. Eerie black figures are walking around in the dry open-cast mine in the film directed by Steffen Alberding. The reason for their actions turns out to be the discovery of a cold Irish beer in the desert-like landscape by an exhausted wayfarer. Simulating the effects of scorching heat, they all pounce on the refreshing brew. The media students were assisted by the IBA tour service. "We've had plenty of ambitious film projects here in the pit thanks to the mine reclamation company, the LMBV, but this is first time we've ever had zombies", commented IBA tour guide Günter Kaliske with a wry smile. The advertisement is a college assignment filmed by the students for their final year project and is not commercially available.

Shooting with the "zombies" in the former pit Ilse. Foto: Peter Raack

last update: 1/26/2017 13:13