IBA Thüringen

StadtLand - a new territorial logic

From 2012 to 2023, the International Building Exhibition in Thuringia developed, together with its partners, more than 40 projects with a focus on resource conservation and the common good. Together, they initiated and carried out innovative, experimental, and exemplary. The IBAs thematic focus on “StadtLand” (city-country) addresses the State’s small-scale settlement structure: the historically and architecturally rich and differentiated cultural landscape is characterised by a lack of large metropolises. Through its “UrbanLand” perspective, the IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung was able to offer a different view on the spatial connections and sustainable systems of urban-rural relationships, which it approached via a social metabolism concept relying on equality and innovation. The IBA worked in partnership with local actors to reactivate vacant properties, supported space makers and new forms of cooperation between administrations, businesses and civil society and helped build new, experimental and resource-conscious buildings:

Empty property conversion
Cities and villages in Thuringia are faced with large amounts of vacant properties. Activating and re-using this existing building stock not only improves the towns’ and villages’ external and internal  image, but is also a necessary and climate-friendly way to deal with built-in energy, collective identities and the use of space. Together with its partners, the IBA Thüringen developed various vacant sites with interesting potentials across the region.
The IBA Thüringen team itself took on the revitalisation of the Eiermannbau in Apolda and managed to reactivate the long-time empty industrial heritage building into an open factory.

Resource conservation in new construction
By promoting timber construction, the IBA Thuringen advocated for a construction method that binds CO2 while using a raw material that is widespread in Thuringia and hence regional. Thanks to an extensive local commitment, sustainable projects and a future-proof economic cycle have been implemented in the region.

Strengthening civil society
New ownership and sponsorship constellations, a committed civil society and alternative organisational and financing models are all expressions of an empowered society, involved in the development of the built environment and co-defining its aims and qualities. The IBA Thüringen helped to build sustainable structures and new partnerships, thus promoting democratic and inclusive communities.

As a result, the IBA Thüringen has been in extensive exchange with numerous rural regions in Europe and the world, who face similar conditions and challenges. The 2019 interim presentation and the 2023 final exhibitions of the IBA process both took place in the Eiermannbau Apolda as well as at different locations throughout Thuringia. The IBA projects have been awarded multiple prices and honours.
By the end of 2023, the IBA stakeholders were able to present their findings and recommendations following the eleven-year IBA process to the Thuringian state parliament and its representatives. Since January 2024, the foundation “Stiftung Baukultur Thüringen” has taken over the communication on the legacy of the IBA Thüringen.

The IBA Thuringen was initiated and funded by the State of Thuringia. Dr Marta Doehler-Behzadi has been the IBA Thüringen GmbHGmbH GmbH’s Managing Director since 2014. By the end of 2022, over 117 million euros had already been invested in projects and buildings supported by and initiated with the IBA.

Further IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung