IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land

Workshop for New Landscapes

The first IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung in former East Germany took place from 2000 to 2010 in southern Brandenburg. It aimed to re-interpret and renew the landscape in a rural region after mining. Mining and processing of lignite had characterised the Lower Lusatia region for 150 years, but over 20 opencast mines were closed in the early 1990s. Wounded landscapes and abandoned industrial buildings were left behind. Therefore, the goal of IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land (also known as IBA see) was to upgrade the former mining landscapes and give the landscape of wasteland a new identity.

The team headed by Rolf Kuhn based its work on the experiences of IBA Emscher Park, which also focused on a former industrial landscape, as well as on the Dessau-Wörlitz Gardens which were designed by the Bauhaus Dessau as an “industrial garden realm”. Together with representatives of the communities and the region, planners and students, the IBA see concept was developed in coordination with national and international experts and IBA projects were implemented throughout the entire Lower Lusatia region. Two of the projects spanned the German-Polish border.

The IBA see stimulated these immense landscape and structural changes economically, ecologically and creatively: Industrial memorials were preserved and repurposed, urban renewal projects were promoted and the lunar landscapes of lignite mines were opened for tourism. This created the Lausitzer Seenland (Lusatian Lakeland), Europe’s largest artificial landscape with 20 lakes. It has 14,000 hectares of water surface with navigable canals interconnecting the lakes, kilometres of cycle tracks as well as floating houses, unique city harbours and and distinctive buildings giving the region its identity.

IBA see was financed from regional and state funds. The IBA was originally named after Hermann Prince of Pückler-Muskau, creator of widely acclaimed masterpieces of landscape architecture in his parks in Bad Muskau and Branitz in the early 19th century.

The IBA Study House in Großräschen continues the heritage of IBA see at a historically authentic location in the heart of the landscape. With its knowledge base, regional network and simple accommodation, it offers study visits, continuing professional development, conferences and workshops.

Lauchhammer Bio Towers before refurbishment – the last relic of the former large-scale coking plant, 1997. Image: Christina Glanz
Lauchhammer Bio-Towers
Castel del Monte in Lusatia
Mining landscape with a view of Schwarze Pumpe power station, 2006. Image: Aris Tsantiropoulos
Welzow-Süd Landscape Project
The Idea of an Artificial Desert
Floating homes on Lake Geierswalde: 10 large bodies of water will be connected by navigable canals when flooding is completed, 2013. Image: Radke/ LMBV
Floating Homes, Geierswalde
Living on Waves
The F60 at night with a light installation by Hans Peter Kuhn, 2014. Image: Detlef A. Hecht
F60 Visitors’ Mine
A “Horizontal Eiffel Tower” in Lusatia
The Landmark beside Sorno Canal, 2012. Image: Detlef A. Hecht
Landmark Lusatian Lakeland, Senftenberg
Vision(s) of Lakeland
The lake has been flooding since 2007 – the visualisation shows the future water level below the IBA terraces. From 2018 on, passenger ships will be able to dock here, 2008. Image: Profifoto Kliche
IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung Terraces, Großräschen-Süd
From Mining to Lake Landscape

Further IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung