Newsletter from 09/27/2010

Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA)

1. And there was light: IBA finale with over 4000 torch-bearers at Lake Sedlitz
2. Maintaining standards: Signing of the IBA Lusatian Charter
3. From IBA to IBA: Baton passes from Lusatia to Switzerland
4. Last IBA meeting: Expert Advisory Committee takes final stock of achievements
5. Of flowers and light: IBA art project inspires Plessa
6. Good ideas pave the way to success: Brandenburg tourism day on the IBA Terraces
7. IBA stopover in Berlin: "Realstadt" exhibition in Berlin-Mitte power station
8. IBA autumn tour: From Mars to new lakes and industrial giants
9. Tour of exhibition on the IBA Terraces: The Reconquering of a Landscape
10. Natural wonder of Lusatia: Migration of birds in Sielmann park

(1) And there was light:

IBA finale with over 4000 torch-bearers at Lake Sedlitz

On Saturday evening the Internationale Bauausstellung bid farewell to the region with its "Paradise 2" art project. Thousands of torch-bearers flocked to Lake Sedlitz where they turned on their lights on behalf of the newly emerging Lusatian Lakeland. Having been enticed to join together and move "Up and onwards to new shores", more than 4,000 people turned up with their torches and gathered around the half-flooded post-mining lake, which is the location of four IBA projects. The 12-kilometre chain of people and 500 drummers and trumpeters formed a human spectacle directed by Jürg Montalta, sending light and sound signals across the lake. Overwhelmed by the response, Montalta said, "the fact that so many people turned up with their torches to be part of the work of art is amazing. It was magical to see the lights flickering and dancing and to feel the incredible charge in the atmosphere". This staged event also marked the end of the art project which has involved 15,000 producers, performers and visitors. A panoramic view of the light sculpture can be seen on Jörg Friebe's website under "IBA-Panorama" at

Photo: Jörg Friebe/

(2) Maintaining standards:

Signing of the IBA Lusatian Charter

Minister-President Matthias Platzeck had sent out invitations to the Neue Bühne theatre in Senftenberg for the official signing prior to the sound & light sculpture, but Interior Minister Rainer Speer had to deputise for him when he was unable to attend for personal reasons. Addressing an audience of some 250 guests, the Minister emphasised in his speech that the IBA had reached an historical milestone and had set a political landmark, and expressed his hope that the vision for the region would not run out of steam. The former director of the IBA Emscher Park, Karl Ganser, expressed the view that a great deal had also changed for the better, exceeding the expectations that had been based on the original potential. "There is still an immense amount to do", said Ganser, "but the region cannot afford to sit back and take a deep breath when the IBA has left. It will be difficult enough just to maintain the cultural landscape at the current high standard at which it has evolved with the IBA projects. This will all cost money but it is the barometer which will be used to measure the sustained success of the IBA in Lusatia".

13 representatives from local government, regional politics, industry, science and research signed the "Lusatian Charter" as a joint gesture of commitment to dealing with post-mining landscapes. The signatories, who included Vattenfall CEO Dr. Hartmuth Zeiß, BTU President Prof. Dr. Walther Zimmerli, the President of the Lausitz University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Günther Schulz, and the Head of the Joint Governmental Agency for Coal Mine Rehabilitation, Dr. Friedrich von Bismarck, undertook to continue the transformation process, following where the IBA had led by allowing creativity and innovation, and by aspiring to the highest standards in terms of utility and design. Based on 10 theses, the Charter was formulated for the IBA conference "Opportunity: Post-Mining Landscape" 2009 and could serve as a model for mining regions all over the world. The guiding principles are intended as a kind of voluntary commitment towards Lusatia. The projects will be officially handed over to the IBA partners in the region on 3rd December.

(3) From IBA to IBA:

Baton passes from Lusatia to Switzerland

The Internationale Bauausstellung, or International Building Exhibition, is a planning instrument which has existed for about 100 years and is called in to deal with exceptional town planning issues, or is brought in when extreme rural land use issues arise - as they did for the first time with the IBA Lusatia. The baton will be handed on to the IBA Basel on the last excursion run by the IBA for professionals. Following the official handover on 15th October 2010, it will take up the challenge of creating a multinational area around Basel at the border triangle where Switzerland, Germany and France meet. The plan is to consult and agree on future changes and to push the boundaries in both urban development and everyday public life. A Swiss delegation was already in Lusatia for the finale and joined in the official baton handover ceremony.

Flyer of the IBA Basel (2.7 MB)

(4) Last IBA meeting:

Expert Advisory Committee takes final stock of achievements

The IBA Expert Advisory Committee met on 19 September for one last time in Großräschen and looked back on the events of the past years. The 26 members of the IBA Expert Advisory Committee included internationally known specialists, academics and representatives from local and regional politics, industry, research and culture, and used to meet twice a year and advise the IBA in connection with major decisions. The general feeling was that the IBA had put Lusatia on the international map and that it was perceived as an exciting region. The IBA was felt to have helped to supplant parochial attitudes and to have convinced many people in the region to join forces to fight for one big dream and to develop sustainable ideas. Many members emphasised in their summary reports that they themselves had also learnt a great deal from their gatherings. The "Paradise 2" art project had been a good finale and the IBA had made the necessary moves to draw the local people in and to involve them in the process. Another point which was made was that it is now important to present the whole process in broad strokes in order to foster an understanding and appreciation of the IBA's work. The preferred option of IBA Director Prof. Kuhn, which is to have a study centre and reference collection in the IBA building, was felt to be the right direction to take.

(5) Of flowers and light:

IBA art project inspires Plessa

One week before the IBA finale at Lake Sedlitz, it had been the turn of the town of Plessa to be put in the spotlight by director Jürg Montalta. More than 1500 people played an active part in the art project. The paradise-style initiative began with a musical afternoon and coffee party in the Kulturhaus, which is a listed building under architectural preservation order. The "Platz des Friedens" town square in front of the Kulturhaus was also transformed into a huge carpet of flowers, serving as a reminder of the impressive flower festivals which used to be a tradition in Plessa until the 1960s. As dusk slowly fell over the town, all the lights stayed off and the crowds bathed the "Bahnhofstraße" street in a sea of lights. Thousands of lights pointed in the direction of Plessa power station. The visitors watched in awe and wonder as a sound & light installation enhanced the beauty and dignity of this industrial giant. There in the oldest lignite-fired power plant in Europe the evening of paradise ended on a heavenly note with culinary delights and dancing.

(6) Good ideas pave the way to success:

Brandenburg tourism day on the IBA Terraces

It is already the 18th time that tourism professionals from the state of Brandenburg will meet to compare notes about their work. In view of the fact that it is the IBA's final year, the meeting is scheduled to take place on 29th and 30th September at the IBA Terraces in Großräschen. The meeting will begin with a tour of the current IBA exhibition "The Reconquering of a Landscape". There will then be various discussion workshops on tourism in new areas, travel for people with disabilities or restricted mobility, and modern forms of water-based tourism. The IBA's input, based on its experience with tours through working and former open-cast mines, will go beyond the merely theoretical when the delegates take a jeep safari and a "Trip to Mars" in the evening. On the second day the feedback from the workshops will be summarised. Other items on the agenda include further presentations as well as the award of the seal of quality in connection with the Brandenburg campaign in the quality scheme for tourism services "ServiceQualität Deutschland in Brandenburg". To sign up for the event and to obtain further information, please visit

(7) IBA stopover in Berlin:

"Realstadt" exhibition in Berlin-Mitte power station

The "Realstadt" exhibition will be showing in the former Mitte power station in Berlin from 2nd October to 28th November. It will be a showcase for models and projects from all over Germany relevant to the subtitle of the exhibition, "Wishes Knocking on Reality's Doors". In response to a nationwide request, suggestions came in from local authorities, town planning offices, colleges of further education and also from individual initiatives. The submissions selected for the exhibition and now on display include design concepts which have already been followed through, as well as tenders which were rejected, documentation from participation processes and bold individual projects. The aims are to present the architectonic aspects but also the social and utopian aspects of towns and cities, and to spark a debate about theory and practice in which the norms, objectives and demands of all the wishes are put to the test. The IBA Lusatia will also be represented there. The examples which will be on show to illustrate the work of the IBA are the designs and model for the "Hand", a landscape project which land art designer Charles Jencks wants to carry out with landscape architect Andreas Kipar at Altdöbern Lake. The exhibition opening is scheduled for 1st October at 19:00 hrs. in Kraftwerk Mitte, Köpenicker Straße 70.

(8) IBA autumn tour:

From Mars to new lakes and industrial giants

The public IBA tours to special IBA project places will continue to run until 31 October. Right back at the beginning of its 10-year term the IBA developed this idea of offering walks in the bizarre world of working open-cast mines accompanied by qualified tour guides, lake-based activities in the newly emerging Lusatian Lakeland and rides to various IBA projects, and it has been extending its range of tours ever since. The latest addition is tours for people with restricted mobility. The interest in the tours has also increased steadily. While approximately 1,000 visitors went on tours in the year 2000, the figure for 2009 was around 8,250. By August of this year the number of people who had been on tour with the IBA, despite adverse weather conditions at times, stood at 6,150. Now that the IBA is preparing to leave, the demand is really booming again. Current tour dates are available online. Alternatively information can be obtained by telephoning 035753-26 10 or by emailing Hot tip: the bus tour "Out and About on the Energy Route" on 2 October. Naturally it will still be possible after the end of the season to arrange private tours. List of tours

(9) Tour of exhibition on the IBA Terraces:

The Reconquering of a Landscape

The IBA has run 30 projects in Lusatia to accompany its transformation from open-cast mining territory and has developed scenarios for the future of the new post-mining landscape. The final exhibition is entitled "The Reconquering of a Landscape" and looks back on the work of the IBA, reviewing and taking stock of more than 10 years. The exhibition is free of charge and will be open from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. from Tuesday to Sunday until the end of October.

(10) Natural wonder of Lusatia:

Migration of birds in Sielmann park

A natural spectacle of a special kind can be observed in the area around Luckau in the autumn months as it becomes the roosting place for thousands of cranes and tens of thousands of Nordic wild geese. Sielmann's Natural Landscape in Wanninchen provides facilities to observe the majestic birds at close range and offers guided trails to the roosts as well as other events in connection with the mass migration. An excursion to the grazing areas of the cranes leaves the Wanninchen Nature Park Centre daily at 10:00 hrs. The Wanninchen Centre puts on a nature film at 15:00 hrs. followed by the opportunity to see the cranes retire to their roosts from 17:30 hrs. onwards. The evening walks will still be on every Wednesday and Saturday until the end of October. They will start at 17:00 hrs. in the first half of October, and at 16:30 hrs. in the second half.

last update: 1/26/2017 13:13