Newsletter 114 from 09/26/2009

Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA)

1. Exchanged: Lusatia theses discussed at conference and taken back to the world
2. Admired: IBA guides TICCIH world congress to Lusatian industrial giants
3. Rewarded: Conservation prize recognises commitment to Lauchhammer bio-towers
4. Arrived: Funding for Senftenberg town harbour provides thrust for project development
5. Recommended: Last tour "From the Eiffel Tower to New Wilderness"
6. Activated: Artist rehearses IBA art project "Paradise 2" with Lusatians

(1) Exchanged:

Lusatia theses discussed at conference and taken back to the world

Lusatia was in the world's gaze for three days as some 200 experts from 25 countries and five continents visited the IBA Terraces. They had come to the IBA conference "Opportunity: Post-Mining Landscape" to discuss the problem and potential of the legacy of mining landscapes. It was the first time a conference had been devoted to this subject in an international context, as pointed out by delegates in praise of the event. Despite their different situations, the representatives of the mining regions saw major opportunities in the renewal and redevelopment of the post-mining landscape. Caroline Digby of the Post-Mining Alliance referred to impressive examples in all parts of the world as to how to deal with the legacy of the mining era. Some experts even suggested a "special status" for mining regions which might allow promising projects to be pushed through more quickly in the future and give the public a new perspective. One point on which all were agreed was that the people have to be actively involved in the regeneration process. Moreover, many delegates were evidently inspired by the collaboration of the Federal Government, Federal State, Lusatia-Spreewald Regional Planning Group, mine redevelopment company LMBV and the IBA in Lusatia.

"In formulating the ten theses on dealing with post-mining landscapes and in discussing them in an international context, we have made a significant advance", said IBA Director Rolf Kuhn. The theses were welcomed by the delegates, attracting lively debate and further input. The principles are now up for further discussion on the international stage. The results will eventually be published in a final paper in 2010. Furthermore, the conference documentation will be published in April of next year by the Jovis Verlag publishing house. Until then the papers presented by the speakers will provide information about the issues at stake. They will be available online from 5 October in PDF format.

(2) Admired:

IBA guides TICCIH world congress to Lusatian industrial giants

Some 370 experts in industrial heritage convened in Freiberg at the beginning of September at the 14th TICCIH world congress on the theme of "Industrial Heritage between Economy and Ecology". At the congress, the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH) criticised the way in which industrial monuments had been dealt with in the early 1990s in all parts of East Germany, adding that structures which bear witness to the former textile industry in Saxony are at risk today because there is no clear policy on dealing with industrial monuments. The experts from 38 nations took a look beyond the state border with Saxony on the IBA themed excursion to four sites on the Energy Route through Lusatia's Industrial Heritage. The congress delegates - some 250 in total - showed interest in the ideas for the reuse of the former industrial plants and in the economic and ecological aspects involved in the protection of historical monuments. Stops on the tour included the Plessa power station, the Lauchhammer bio-towers, the F60 visitor mine and the IBA Terraces in Großräschen. "The number of people who have visited these IBA projects in the last few years has shown that old industrial monuments can become a magnet for visitors and that their preservation helps people to remember bygone days and thus build a bridge from the past to the future", said IBA Director Rolf Kuhn. Some of these imposing industrial plants and bizarre mining landscapes are marketed through the cross-border Energy Route through Lusatia's Industrial Heritage which links ten sites to form a tourist attraction with national appeal. It is a regional leg within the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH).

(3) Rewarded:

Conservation prize recognises commitment to Lauchhammer bio-towers

Still basking in the success of having won the Brandenburg engineering prize, the Lauchhammer bio-towers were recently also awarded the Brandenburg prize for the preservation of historical monuments. Cottbus engineering firm Peter Jähne and architectural firm Zimmermann und Partner, which were commissioned to restore the plant in line with conservation requirements, had applied for the award. As she presented the award, Brandenburg's Minister of Culture Johanna Wanka praised the excellent achievements of all the partners involved in the work of preserving the unique industrial plant and retaining what she referred to as a piece of Brandenburg identity. Once used as biological treatment towers for the large-scale Lauchhammer coking plant, the bio-towers were preserved during the demolition of the surrounding industrial plants in the 1990s and introduced to a new future with the help of the International Building Exhibition, the "Stiftung Kunstgussmuseum" art castings museum foundation and many other partners, such as the "Traditionsverein Braunkohle-Lauchhammer" lignite heritage association. IBA Director Rolf Kuhn therefore also considers the prize to be a major accolade which recognises the many years spent fighting to preserve this landmark. The prize money totals 4,500 euros.

(4) Arrived:

Funding for Senftenberg town harbour provides thrust for project development

Following the results of the town harbour competition in the spring of this year run by the IBA and Senftenberg town council, the decision on funding announced by the Ministry for Infrastructure and Regional Development has cleared the way for planning to proceed further. State Secretary for Infrastructure Rainer Bretschneider recently handed over the statement announcing 427,000 euros of funding from the lignite mine redevelopment budget. "The new harbour will open up the town to the lake and will be an incentive to gentrify the town centre and broaden its appeal", said Rainer Bretschneider. The town harbour is the flagship project of the integrated urban development strategy and a project of the International Building Exhibition. The aim of this investment project is to put Senftenberg on the tourist map as the largest "lakeside town" in the Lusatian Lakeland and to raise its profile and increase its importance. According to infrastructure minister Dellmann, the first cut of the spade is scheduled to coincide with the grand IBA finale in 2010. The international architecture competition was won in March by Berlin-based landscape architecture firm bgmr, Astoc Architects & Planners from Cologne and Ecosystem Saxonia from Dresden. Their design envisages a 470-metre-long saucer-shaped footbridge framing the harbour basin on the south side of the town lake. A pier will provide landing stages for passenger ships.

(6) Recommended:

Last tour "From the Eiffel Tower to New Wilderness"

Autumn is coming and the tourist season is slowly drawing to a close. There is still time to register for the IBA tour "From the Eiffel Tower to New Wilderness" for anyone wanting to explore the contemporary history of Lusatia on the Fürst-Pückler Path one last time before that time of the year when it starts getting dark in the evenings. It is the last cycle tour being offered by the IBA tour service this year. The tour will start with a talk on the IBA Terraces about the projects and visions of the IBA. The trip will then proceed through old villages and historic workers' settlements via Sallgast Castle to the F60 visitor mine. After a short guided tour over the "Horizontal Eiffel Tower of Lusatia" the programme includes a guided walk through the NABU nature reserve. Participants will be captivated by the rugged beauty of the post-mining landscape here and can find out about the rare flora and fauna in this "second-hand wilderness". The eight-hour tour covers 40 kilometres and ends back at the IBA Terraces overlooking the emerging Lake Ilse. Anyone interested can book by telephone on +49 (0)35753-26112 or by email at

(6) Activated:

Artist rehearses IBA art project "Paradise 2" with Lusatians

Swiss artist Jürg Montalta has been busy working on seven artistic productions for the IBA finale and has been rehearsing for months with the local people at seven IBA project locations. Back at the half-way mark of the IBA, the artist won accolades for his play entitled "Everything lost - everything gained", which was staged on the bed of the future Lake Ilse. In his second large-scale artistic project entitled "Paradise 2" he will again be using the landscape as a stage and inviting the people of Lusatia to become the artists. The basic inspiration for the ideas has come from the IBA projects and from the wishes and feelings expressed by the people whom he met while conducting his local investigations. The suggestions which flooded in were sifted down to end up with extraordinary productions scheduled to be performed in Großräschen, Gubin, Welzow, Schlabendorf, Plessa, Cottbus and on Lake Sedlitz from April 2010 onwards. "About 300 people are already actively involved in the art project", said Jürg Montalta. Nevertheless, anyone interested in taking part in the Paradise workshops is welcome to attend future meetings. Another "listening circle" will be held in the Kulturhaus in Gubin on 7 October from 16:00 to 18:00 hrs. The workshop in Cottbus will be held on 12 October from 18:00 to 19:30 hrs in the Soziokulturelles Zentrum, and the meeting on the IBA Terraces is scheduled to run from 19:00 to 20:00 hrs on 16 October.

last update: 1/26/2017 13:13