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Redesigning Wounded Landscapes

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Content<br />

1 Rolf Kuhn / Rainer Müller:<br />

Ten Years of Radical Change and Fresh Departures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5<br />

The Mother of F60: Elke Löwe * ........................................... 25<br />

The Lake Maker: Walter Karge * .......................................... 31<br />

21 Petra Kabus: The History of an Industrial Region ......................... 37<br />

22 Holger Bartsch: Back to the Start ........................................ 53<br />

The Desert Walker: Karsten Feucht * . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69<br />

The Unexpected Guest: Tommaso Lana * ................................... 75<br />

3 Oliver G. Hamm / Brigitte Scholz: Landscape Laboratory Lusatia ............. 81<br />

The Peacemaker: Irmgard Schneider * ...................................... 105<br />

On the Offensive: Kathrin Winkler * ....................................... 111<br />

4 Wolfgang Kil: Islands of Special Freedoms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117<br />

The Businesswoman: Karin Mietke * ....................................... 133<br />

Knowing Your Roots: Carola Meißner * ..................................... 139<br />

5 Tina Veihelmann: How to Build a Sling . .................................. 145<br />

The Art of Living: Gesine Carlitscheck * ..................................... 161<br />

Setting the Tone: Marcel Friedrich * ........................................ 167<br />

6 Jürg Montalta: Paradise 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173<br />

* Katja Sophia Wolf (texts), Frank Döring (photographs): Ten Portraits.


1<br />

Ten Years of Radical Change and Fresh Departures<br />

A look back at the IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land<br />

Rolf Kuhn / Rainer Müller<br />

Our global thirst for energy and raw materials is increasing all the time. Year after year,<br />

humanity exhausts large quantities of mineral resources. The areas of the world in which<br />

we drill and dig for oil, gas, coal, gravel, clay, and ore are becoming more and more remote.<br />

The excavation methods are becoming increasingly complex, and the range of resources<br />

demanded is expanding constantly. Even the deep sea and Greenland are being targeted<br />

by mining companies, which assume that huge reserves of valuable raw materials can be<br />

found there.<br />

Today, oil is already being drilled at great cost and effort from frozen sands in the north<br />

of Canada. Increasing demand and rising prices make it lucrative. The greatest ever use of<br />

raw materials was seen in 2010. The demand for fossil energy carriers alone rose by 5.6<br />

percent over the previous year, and for coal it was even by 7.6 percent.1 According to a<br />

UNO report, the exploitation of resources worldwide could triple by 2050 to a total of 140<br />

billion tons.2 The reasons behind this are a global population increase, high usage in industrial<br />

countries, and the growing worldwide demand. Above all, the world’s most highly<br />

populated countries, China and India, are catching up rapidly and taking an active role on<br />

the world markets.<br />

A race for raw materials in short supply The major western companies are no longer<br />

alone. It seems a matter of course when French, British, or American companies drill for<br />

natural oil in the jungles of Nigeria, excavate uranium in the desert of Niger, and when<br />

German concerns draw black coal from Colombian mines. But now Chinese companies are<br />

also buying up coal mines in Zambia, cobalt mines in the Congo, and acquiring the concessions<br />

to exploit oil fields in the Sudan. Almost every week, China opens a new coal power<br />

station, and today it uses almost half of the coal mined in the world.³ ◘ 1 › p. 6<br />

This shift in the political and economic balance is leading to a race for raw materials,<br />

which are in shorter supply than ever before, and to a rise in prices. Not only the excavation<br />

of oil sands in Canada is proving profitable as a result. In Australia, long abandoned<br />

gold mines are being reopened, and in Europe, even in Germany, there are plans to access<br />

deposits previously regarded as unprofitable: near Delitzsch in Saxony, the newly founded<br />

Deutsche Rohstoff AG has acquired the excavation rights for “noble earths.” In Spremberg<br />

5


8<br />

9


5 Spatial distribution / Landscape Islands and<br />

time spectrum of the thirty IBA projects<br />

Time spectrum of<br />

the thirty IBA projects:<br />

Ice Age 450,000 B. C.<br />

[16] Geopark Muskau Coal Crescent<br />

Middle Ages 9th century–14th century<br />

[17] Gubin’s Main Church<br />

[22] Raddusch Slavic Fort<br />

In the spirit of the<br />

Enlightenment 19th century<br />

[15] Fürst-Pückler-Park Bad Muskau<br />

[20] Fürst-Pückler-Park Branitz<br />

[25] Cultural Landscape of Fürstlich Drehna<br />

3 2<br />

Industrial Age 20th century<br />

[2] Visitors’ Mine F 60<br />

[4] The Event Power Plant Plessa<br />

[5] Lauchhammer Bio-Towers<br />

[6] Marga Industrial Estate and Garden City<br />

[18] Gubener Wolle—Island in the Neisse River—Haus Wolf<br />

[21] Large Settlement Sachsendorf-Madlow<br />

[29] ENERGY Heritage Route of Lusatian Industrial Culture<br />

Changes after lignite 1st decade of the 21st century<br />

[1] IBA center Großräschen-Süd<br />

[8] Lusatian Lakeland landmark<br />

[9] Geierswalde Leisure and Water-World<br />

[13] Landscape Project Welzow<br />

[14] Welzow Energy Landscape<br />

[24] Sielmann’s Natural Landscape Wanninchen<br />

[27] Floating homes on Gräbendorfer See<br />

[28] Pritzen Art Landscape<br />

[30] Fürst-Pückler Path<br />

Changes after lignite 2nd decade of the 21st century<br />

[3] Floating discovery center “The Sun”<br />

[7] LakeTown Senftenberg<br />

[10] Sedlitz Lagoon Village<br />

[11] Floating pontoon on Lake Sedlitz<br />

[12] Lake Sedlitz water sports center<br />

[19] Baltic Sea in Cottbus<br />

[23] Water-Realm Spree in Lübben<br />

[26] Landscape art: “The Hand” in Altdöbern<br />

4<br />

24<br />

5<br />

25<br />

23<br />

22<br />

1<br />

26<br />

27<br />

28<br />

29<br />

12<br />

30<br />

10<br />

8<br />

11<br />

6 7<br />

13<br />

Spatial distribution<br />

“Landscape Islands”<br />

9<br />

21 20 19 17<br />

14<br />

18<br />

16<br />

1 IBA Center<br />

2 Lauchhammer-Klettwitz: Industrial Heritage<br />

3 Gräbendorf-Greifenhain: Landscape Art<br />

4 Welzow: A Landscape in Transformation<br />

5 Lusatian Lakeland Waterworld<br />

6 Seese-Schlabendorf: Pre-Industrial Heritage—<br />

Post-Industrial Nature<br />

7 Cottbus: Lake City—City Lake<br />

8 Bad Muskau-Lochten:<br />

Fürst Pückler Heritage Landscape<br />

9 Guben / Gubin: Island of Europe<br />

15<br />

Individual projects and<br />

levels of impact Ideally, the thirty projects would have an impact on various levels: “physically”<br />

on site in the location, in the minds of the players involved regionally, and among<br />

specialists and tourists at a much wider, national or even international level. The IBA incorporated<br />

its ideas into the already active restoration process and made sure that a highquality<br />

design standard was achieved. It worked persistently to change the consciousness<br />

of a region where primacy had been given to lignite extraction for decades.<br />

One example of this is the IBA Terraces: the IBA made a conscious decision to create<br />

the central visitor center on the very edge of the former open-cast mine Meuro, where the<br />

road comes to an abrupt halt beside a huge crater. The IBA Terraces are a statement: although<br />

a third of the town has been flattened by the bulldozers and it now ends at the IBA<br />

Terraces, and although the chapter of mining concluded with the closure of the open-cast<br />

mine in Großräschen, this does not mean the end for Großräschen and the Lusatian mining<br />

region, but the beginning of something new. The change of Lusatia from a lignitemining<br />

region to the Lakeland, and its people from “miners to lakelanders,” is never as<br />

obvious as when standing on the IBA Terraces. ◘ 2 › p. 8 / 9<br />

Directly on the abort edge, which naturally also represents a break in the development<br />

of Großräschen, a modern structure of exposed concrete now marks the start of a new age.<br />

Conceived in an architectural competition, the IBA Terraces were the initial trigger for the<br />

many architectural developments that have followed by the shores of the new lake to date:<br />

the pier, the lake hotel, and a new residential area. Before the IBA Terraces opened as an<br />

events venue and visitor center in 2004, this part of Großräschen was a kind of “no-go<br />

area.” The loss of the historical site, the local people’s old homes, and places of work was<br />

just too painful. In addition, all that the pit continued to mean to the locals was air pollution<br />

with dust. The locals didn’t want anything more to do with the “filthy hole,” as they<br />

called it. ◘ 6 › p. 14 / 15<br />

But the IBA began to issue repeated invitations to events on the IBA Terraces; to concerts,<br />

film screenings, exhibitions, and celebrations. Guided hikes through the bizarre<br />

moon landscape at the foot of the IBA Terraces also revealed the special charms of the<br />

changeable “interim landscape.” At first, it was mainly visitors from Berlin who were<br />

12<br />

13


13 Minister President Matthias Platzeck sets the sails on the IBA Terraces<br />

at the opening of the final IBA event in 2010 . Although the IBA says<br />

farewell at the end of 2010—the impetus for change will continue. The<br />

traces that the IBA leaves behind in the southern part of Brandenburg<br />

will remain visible for a long time.<br />

14 IBA House of study (on the far right of the aerial photography, p. 20/21<br />

14<br />

13<br />

lakeshore into a “sculpture of light” in the evening hours. The director’s concept for the<br />

series of events meant that the local people were not confronted by an event culture to<br />

consume. Instead, they had to become active themselves, by getting involved. Jürg Montalta<br />

motivated the participants and showed them possible approaches, but they had to<br />

follow up their own ideas. ◘ 13<br />

How can it continue? For ten years, the IBA questioned ways of seeing things and apparent<br />

certainties. It was often a nuisance and involved hard work. And sometimes, during everyday<br />

project work, it clouded the necessary forward vision. When IBA project supervisors,<br />

architects, landscape planners, and artists from “outside,” citizens’ committees, round<br />

tables or working group sessions came together with building administration, forestry offices,<br />

and mining restorers, people did not always speak the same language — which led to<br />

misunderstandings. After all, an IBA is always an experiment — and experiments can go<br />

wrong — indeed, they must be allowed to go wrong. And so it was not possible to realize<br />

all the projects during the IBA period from 2000 to 2010. Twenty of thirty projects may be<br />

regarded as complete, two more are currently under construction, eight in the planning<br />

stage. Unfortunately, however, one project failed (cf. chapter Scholz / Hamm). This particular<br />

case revealed the conflict that ran like a thread throughout the period of the IBA, which<br />

Karl Ganser described in his speech at the IBA concluding celebrations in autumn 2010 as<br />

the “great chasm between the old ideas of mining and the new lightness of a post-industrial<br />

era.” But he prophesied: “The new ways of thinking have only been postponed, they will<br />

reemerge. For perception of this IBA after its final event will be greater than ever before.”<br />

This altered perception of the IBA was already tangible everywhere as it came to an<br />

end. Recognition was growing. “Paradise 2,” which showed the population that they were<br />

taken seriously, played an essential part in this. Repeatedly, one overheard people say, “It’s<br />

a pity that the IBA is finishing now.” But it is not finishing. It is true that the IBA experienced<br />

its presentation year and its artistic conclusion with “Paradise 2” in 2010, but the<br />

redevelopment of Lusatia continues — not only with those as yet incomplete IBA projects.<br />

It is to be hoped that the spirit of the IBA — the “new ways of thinking” — will live on.<br />

There is still a lot to do in terms of the continued restoration of post-mining landscapes,<br />

22<br />

the construction of canals between the lakes, and the design of the lakeshores, but also<br />

with respect to industrial heritage. The new ambitions of design and aesthetics, playfulness<br />

and lightness, will continue to benefit the region.<br />

It is to be expected that mining will also continue in the Lusatian region for some decades,<br />

meaning that more post-mining landscapes will be created — and so pose challenges<br />

for the regional planners; challenges that we hope they will face creatively, with a<br />

great will to quality design, and always keeping overall development in mind.<br />

In order to set out a timetable for all this calls for extraordinary efforts. It would be<br />

helpful to arrange a new presentation highlight in the year 2015, as far as the technical<br />

completion of the Lustatian Lakeland is concerned; this time, however, a joint state presentation<br />

by both Brandenburg and Saxony seems desirable. It is also important to further<br />

develop network projects like the Fürst-Pückler cycle path, the Lusatian Industrial Culture<br />

project, and the specialist center for floating architecture. As one outcome of the extensive<br />

Lusatian Lakeland still to be developed and reused, unique opportunities for floating architecture<br />

are emerging all over Germany, and these may be coupled with the development<br />

of floating homes with energy autonomy and water cycles, so that Lusatia — as in the boom<br />

period of industrial development — can return to the top levels of international engineering<br />

technology and architectural innovation.<br />

The IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land no longer exists as an institution. But the processes it<br />

has triggered cannot be reversed. The region will keep its projects and we hope it will also<br />

retain the networks, the treasure of experience, and the relevant know-how. In the twoyear<br />

liquidation phase of the IBA GmbH, the course is being set — in cooperation with the<br />

town of Großräschen — to reuse the former management offices as an IBA study center<br />

with an information store and a media library. There will also be opportunities for students<br />

and excursions to stay the night there. Students from the acclaimed faculty of planning in<br />

Kaiserslautern were the first to take advantage of this in spring 2011. Other groups, some<br />

international, have followed. For experts from all over the world, therefore, the former IBA<br />

management office is still a place of understanding, learning, and exchange of experience<br />

regarding processes of landscape change, particularly after massive human interventions.<br />

There can be no more suitable place for such work than the genius loci of the IBA Fürst-<br />

23


42<br />

43


3 Together with Helmut Rippl, Hannelore and Wolfgang Joswig<br />

suggested at the conclusion to the project week “Homage to Otto<br />

Rindt” that a landscape park could be created in the context of<br />

restoration when the open-cast mine Meuro shut down. Summed<br />

up in the documentation “Das Prinzip Hoffnung” (The Principle<br />

of Hope), this idea shaped the idea for a (possible) Internationale<br />

Bauausstellung 2010.<br />

3<br />

this task, the Federation and the lignite states Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and<br />

Thuringia passed the first administrative agreement on lignite restoration in 1992.<br />

Thus, LMBV became one of the most important employers in Lusatia. From the start,<br />

it employed approximately 20,000 workers and was expected to employ government-subsidized<br />

job-seekers as well (ABM). Without wishing to deny the drastic effects of structural<br />

change on many people in Lusatia — the unemployment rate has been more than 25<br />

percent at times — it should be appreciated that post-mining restoration work, above all in<br />

the first half of the nineteen-nineties, was at least able to alleviate the consequences of the<br />

huge drop in employment in the lignite industry.<br />

An IBA in Lusatia? The aforementioned sociopolitical “cushioning measures” on the one<br />

hand, and the administrative agreement for lignite restoration on the other were instruments<br />

created by the Federation, but they only alleviated the social and ecological consequences<br />

of the radical structural change — without leading to any perspective for the<br />

stricken region’s future. When a region is in such a bad way it will grasp at every chance,<br />

if those with responsibility recognize such chances. And so the city of Cottbus — and its<br />

mayor at the time, Waldemar Kleinschmidt — was the first city in the new federal states<br />

to apply for the organization of a Federal Garden Exhibition; its bid was accepted, and it<br />

invested 130 million DM, of which about 95 million were subsidies,10 subsequently experiencing<br />

a boost in urban development that is still noticeable today. So what similar chance<br />

could there be for an entire region, what possible vision for Lusatia?<br />

Senftenberg-based architects and urban planners Hannelore and Wolfgang Joswig<br />

were the people to present the idea — as an outcome of the project week “Homage to Otto<br />

Rindt” — of creating a landscape park as part of restoration work at the discontinued opencast<br />

mine Meuro. The “Ilse-Park Niederlausitz” was to be “a proposal for a (possible) International<br />

Building Exhibition 2010.”11 The idea was to organize the necessary restoration<br />

process so that a spectacular post-mining landscape with great potential for<br />

reutilization could be created. The aim was to gain approval for necessary alterations to the<br />

concluding operations plan so that the preconditions for this could be ensured in advance.12<br />

Reference to an IBA was no coincidence. At that time, the IBA Emscher Park was<br />

58<br />

approaching midway point, and there is an unmistakable similarity between the Joswigs’<br />

vision and the aims of that IBA. In the initial documentation, the authors already referred<br />

explicitly to the creator of the parks in Muskau and Branitz, the “green” Prince Hermann<br />

von Pückler-Muskau, wishing their concept to be understood as further development of<br />

his ideas and guidelines in landscape gardening. ◘ 3<br />

The vision had been born — now it needed people to see and take it as one of the<br />

chances cited above. It seems fitting that the first such people were found among local<br />

politicians in the recently formed district Oberspreewald-Lau sitz (OSL). For one thing, the<br />

project idea was for one part of this district, but secondly, this district was and still is the<br />

“reclamation district” per se. Going from north to south, at that time eight or nine socalled<br />

reclamation areas lay within the district’s territory, depending on how one counted;<br />

almost a third of the district area had been influenced by mining, and a total of 122 abandoned<br />

brownfields (as well as some from the excavation of glass sand in the south) made<br />

the district into the most “pitted” in the state. ◘ 4<br />

Immediately affected by the idea of the “Ilse-Park” as mayor of Großräschen, Thomas<br />

Zenker took an active part in the further development of the concept — and it was also his<br />

town that was accentuated along with today’s IBA start site in a second project week. Directly<br />

involved in the development of the proposal as councilor at the district planning office,<br />

this author had an opportunity to present it to the Minister President of the State of<br />

Brandenburg, Manfred Stolpe, for the first time at the beginning of September 1994; unfortunately,<br />

his response was rather hesitant.<br />

In the author’s opinion, there was one essential reason for this hesitance — “the familiar<br />

issue of money.” As the analogy to the philosophy of the IBA Emscher Park became more<br />

and more obvious in continued discussion,13 naturally the assumption in Potsdam was<br />

that comparable models of financing were to be expected — among other things, the State<br />

of North Rhine-Westphalia had provided the Emscher IBA with corresponding start-up<br />

funds. It seems that the state government of Brandenburg had difficulty imagining such a<br />

concentration of funds into one region. However, it was also almost inconceivable to the<br />

author, as a councilor in the district of OSL hit so badly by radical structural change, to locate<br />

this type of project in the very restricted area between Senftenberg and Großräschen.<br />

59


3 Together with Helmut Rippl, Hannelore and Wolfgang Joswig<br />

suggested at the conclusion to the project week “Homage to Otto<br />

Rindt” that a landscape park could be created in the context of<br />

restoration when the open-cast mine Meuro shut down. Summed<br />

up in the documentation “Das Prinzip Hoffnung” (The Principle<br />

of Hope), this idea shaped the idea for a (possible) Internationale<br />

Bauausstellung 2010.<br />

3<br />

this task, the Federation and the lignite states Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and<br />

Thuringia passed the first administrative agreement on lignite restoration in 1992.<br />

Thus, LMBV became one of the most important employers in Lusatia. From the start,<br />

it employed approximately 20,000 workers and was expected to employ government-subsidized<br />

job-seekers as well (ABM). Without wishing to deny the drastic effects of structural<br />

change on many people in Lusatia — the unemployment rate has been more than 25<br />

percent at times — it should be appreciated that post-mining restoration work, above all in<br />

the first half of the nineteen-nineties, was at least able to alleviate the consequences of the<br />

huge drop in employment in the lignite industry.<br />

An IBA in Lusatia? The aforementioned sociopolitical “cushioning measures” on the one<br />

hand, and the administrative agreement for lignite restoration on the other were instruments<br />

created by the Federation, but they only alleviated the social and ecological consequences<br />

of the radical structural change — without leading to any perspective for the<br />

stricken region’s future. When a region is in such a bad way it will grasp at every chance,<br />

if those with responsibility recognize such chances. And so the city of Cottbus — and its<br />

mayor at the time, Waldemar Kleinschmidt — was the first city in the new federal states<br />

to apply for the organization of a Federal Garden Exhibition; its bid was accepted, and it<br />

invested 130 million DM, of which about 95 million were subsidies,10 subsequently experiencing<br />

a boost in urban development that is still noticeable today. So what similar chance<br />

could there be for an entire region, what possible vision for Lusatia?<br />

Senftenberg-based architects and urban planners Hannelore and Wolfgang Joswig<br />

were the people to present the idea — as an outcome of the project week “Homage to Otto<br />

Rindt” — of creating a landscape park as part of restoration work at the discontinued opencast<br />

mine Meuro. The “Ilse-Park Niederlausitz” was to be “a proposal for a (possible) International<br />

Building Exhibition 2010.”11 The idea was to organize the necessary restoration<br />

process so that a spectacular post-mining landscape with great potential for<br />

reutilization could be created. The aim was to gain approval for necessary alterations to the<br />

concluding operations plan so that the preconditions for this could be ensured in advance.12<br />

Reference to an IBA was no coincidence. At that time, the IBA Emscher Park was<br />

58<br />

approaching midway point, and there is an unmistakable similarity between the Joswigs’<br />

vision and the aims of that IBA. In the initial documentation, the authors already referred<br />

explicitly to the creator of the parks in Muskau and Branitz, the “green” Prince Hermann<br />

von Pückler-Muskau, wishing their concept to be understood as further development of<br />

his ideas and guidelines in landscape gardening. ◘ 3<br />

The vision had been born — now it needed people to see and take it as one of the<br />

chances cited above. It seems fitting that the first such people were found among local<br />

politicians in the recently formed district Oberspreewald-Lau sitz (OSL). For one thing, the<br />

project idea was for one part of this district, but secondly, this district was and still is the<br />

“reclamation district” per se. Going from north to south, at that time eight or nine socalled<br />

reclamation areas lay within the district’s territory, depending on how one counted;<br />

almost a third of the district area had been influenced by mining, and a total of 122 abandoned<br />

brownfields (as well as some from the excavation of glass sand in the south) made<br />

the district into the most “pitted” in the state. ◘ 4<br />

Immediately affected by the idea of the “Ilse-Park” as mayor of Großräschen, Thomas<br />

Zenker took an active part in the further development of the concept — and it was also his<br />

town that was accentuated along with today’s IBA start site in a second project week. Directly<br />

involved in the development of the proposal as councilor at the district planning office,<br />

this author had an opportunity to present it to the Minister President of the State of<br />

Brandenburg, Manfred Stolpe, for the first time at the beginning of September 1994; unfortunately,<br />

his response was rather hesitant.<br />

In the author’s opinion, there was one essential reason for this hesitance — “the familiar<br />

issue of money.” As the analogy to the philosophy of the IBA Emscher Park became more<br />

and more obvious in continued discussion,13 naturally the assumption in Potsdam was<br />

that comparable models of financing were to be expected — among other things, the State<br />

of North Rhine-Westphalia had provided the Emscher IBA with corresponding start-up<br />

funds. It seems that the state government of Brandenburg had difficulty imagining such a<br />

concentration of funds into one region. However, it was also almost inconceivable to the<br />

author, as a councilor in the district of OSL hit so badly by radical structural change, to locate<br />

this type of project in the very restricted area between Senftenberg and Großräschen.<br />

59


7 The regional planning association convened the “Founding Committee IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land” under the<br />

direction of Walter Momper. Prof. Karl Ganser (then CEO of the IBA Emscher Park) acted as an advisor and<br />

source of creative ideas. In 1996 the committee recommended the realisation of an IBA in Lusatia and<br />

suggested 20 projects for it.<br />

8 Pictured alongside the Minister President and ministers of the state government of Brandenburg, we see the<br />

founding partners of the IBA: then regional councillors of Oberspreewald-Lausitz, Elbe-Elster, Spree-Neiße<br />

and Dahme-Spreewald—Holger Bartsch, Walter Kroker, Dieter Friese and Martin Wille—as well as the mayor<br />

of the city of Cottbus, Waldemar Kleinschmidt, March 1999<br />

9 Former Minister of the Environment and later Minister President of Brandenburg, Matthias Platzeck,<br />

unveils the construction site sign for the future IBA managing offices in Großräschen in September 1998.<br />

Looking on are Walter Karge and Holger Bartsch.<br />

?<br />

8<br />

7<br />

9<br />

64<br />

side opinion as well as the regional standpoint. Consequently, one tender was granted to<br />

a working group recruited from exclusively regional players,15 while the other tender was<br />

given to an external working group.16<br />

The results differed as much as the contracted groups. While the regional working<br />

group concentrated in a very concrete way on single projects already conceived or contained<br />

in the reutilization concepts, and suggested a list of projects in addition to an overall<br />

concept, the external group saw primarily the unique quality of the so-called interim<br />

landscape and suggested, among other things, keeping an open-cast mine open after the<br />

coal had been fully extracted. Spectacular as a project like this might have been, it was<br />

never a realistic option — for both safety and financial reasons. The “Basle study” inevitably<br />

conflicted with planning aims to complete and close down operations; among other<br />

things, these included carefully securing the filled-in cavities and ensuring safe pedestrian<br />

access to the reclaimed post-mining landscape. In addition, its proposals would probably<br />

have led to a rejection of the IBA in the region, as emerged later in the case of the project<br />

“Desert / Oasis Welzow.” Therefore, it was pursued no further in the evaluation and in the<br />

planning association’s decisions based upon that evaluation. Nonetheless, discussion of<br />

how wild, or how artificial the emerging post-mining landscape should be continued to<br />

attend the further development of the IBA philosophy for quite some time. The open-cast<br />

mine Meuro-Süd, which was still operating until 1999, finally provided a possibility within<br />

the duration of the IBA for wandering / walking through a so-called interim landscape.<br />

Later, this proved a great hit with tourists.<br />

On February 19, 1997, a committee of experts was constituted, appointed by the planning<br />

association: the so-called board of trustees. The former governing mayor of Berlin<br />

and co-initiator of the Berlin Old Building-New Building-IBA, Walter Momper, was elected<br />

unanimously as its chairman. Under his competent leadership and with intense cooperation<br />

from Karl Ganser, the committee comprising representatives from politics, science,<br />

and industry 17 developed, indeed one might almost say grappled to produce a paper of<br />

basic principles in seven sittings during the period from February to June. It was submitted<br />

to the public, but primarily to the state government with the title “International Building<br />

Exhibition Fürst-Pückler-Land — Workshop for New <strong>Landscapes</strong> in Lusatia — The Recommendations<br />

of the Founding Board.” The founding document of the subsequent IBA<br />

comprised three chapters with only fifty-six pages including illustrative material, and presented<br />

the IBA’s programmatic and organizational principles, including a suggestion for<br />

financing and a project list of twenty projects. ◘ 7 In addition, it recommended “the realization<br />

of an International Building Exhibition to the region and the state government” constituting<br />

three fields of work: New <strong>Landscapes</strong>, Industrial Culture, and Architectural Culture<br />

and Tourism.18<br />

The remarkable thing about all this was that despite very different initial ideas regarding<br />

the IBA’s aims and content, indeed even regarding its name, ultimately all the members<br />

of the board were fully behind this document. A description of the process, which was<br />

characterized by unusual creative tension and intensity, would be worthy of a chapter in its<br />

own right. Every seller praises his own goods, but this author feels quite justified in viewing<br />

individual aspects of that report as highly relevant and up-to-date, even from today’s<br />

perspective.<br />

Bearing in mind the financial scope of Brandenburg as a federal state, the recommendations<br />

were oriented on rather small-scale organization of the IBA with ten to twelve<br />

permanent employees and an annual budget of 3.25 million DM. Regardless of this, almost<br />

two more years passed before the state government, in a joint cabinet session with representatives<br />

from the region held in Cottbus, gave the go-ahead to the IBA on March 30,<br />

1999. ◘ 8 First, it was necessary for the district bodies of the planning region to found a<br />

company to prepare the IBA (IBA-Vorbereitungsgesellschaft mbH): in other words, the<br />

company was established by the four districts and the independent city of Cottbus. Prof.<br />

Rolf Kuhn was appointed CEO, and a year-long working process followed, during which<br />

the project’s financial feasibility was demonstrated while identifying seven so-called start<br />

projects.<br />

Finally, the IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land was officially opened with an introductory week<br />

starting on May 29, 1999. The same Minister President Manfred Stolpe, who had accepted<br />

the “Ilse Park documentation” with limited interest from the author of this text on September<br />

1, 1994, spoke the following words at this opening event: “But the strongest force<br />

of the IBA are the people of the region, who are helping to carry this project. I don’t wish<br />

65


That’s why people are now flying off into space or bungee<br />

jumping.”<br />

He’s already thinking about the time when strip mining<br />

is a thing of the past, but he doesn’t believe that strip mining<br />

tourism would then necessarily be over. “The IBA and<br />

their partners weren’t able to convey their vision of landscape<br />

in Welzow back when they tried it, but maybe we<br />

can — after ten years of mining tourism and bringing thousands<br />

of visitors here to eat and spend the night, etc. Because<br />

then they’ll be able to understand these concepts of<br />

landscape better.” Feucht follows his own desires in his<br />

search for depth, truth, and authenticity. While studying in<br />

Chile on a scholarship many years ago, where he would meet<br />

his wife, he didn’t have the courage to admit his feelings for<br />

her. It wasn’t until he traveled to a conference in Chile<br />

through the IBA and they met again that they decided to live<br />

together in Lusatia. Meanwhile they have three children,<br />

and when asked about his contacts in Chile, he responds,<br />

“Maybe I’ll train strip mining guides from the Atacama Desert<br />

here in Welzow. Who knows?”<br />

--<br />

Notes<br />

1 Jana Tschitschke: Public Relations und Imageaufbau für eine Region am Beispiel der Unternehmenskommunikation<br />

der IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land, M. A. thesis in applied linguistics at the Technical<br />

University of Dresden, 2004.<br />

Tommaso Lana<br />

The Unexpected Guest<br />

74 74<br />

75


80 80<br />

their own potential, and to develop it with others, then they<br />

will stop merely living from day to day. “Then they’ll begin to<br />

create their lives as works of art.”<br />

With his Welzow project, Tommaso Lana has, so to speak,<br />

“a gift-wrapped present in his hands” that will accompany<br />

him in his professional and personal future. “And there’s<br />

one other great thing I’m allowed to take with me: the genuine<br />

friendships of the many people who decided to open this<br />

present with me.”<br />

81<br />

3<br />

Landscape Laboratory Lusatia<br />

The example of the open-cast mine Welzow-Süd<br />

Oliver G. Hamm / Brigitte Scholz<br />

Lignite has been mined in Lusatia since 1844, initially in underground mining, and from<br />

the beginning of the twentieth century in large open-cast mines. The huge masses of<br />

earth that were moved in the process — and will be moved until well into the twenty-first<br />

century in the five remaining open-cast mines in Lusatia at Jänschwalde, Cottbus-Nord,<br />

Welzow-Süd, Nochten and Reichwalde — is made clear by some figures: since 1930,a total<br />

of approximately seven billion tons of coal have been extracted in Lusatia. Up until 2010,<br />

mining had requisitioned an area of 814 square kilometers, and 125 villages with a total<br />

of almost 28,000 inhabitants had been sacrificed to it; in other words, the population of<br />

an average small town had been obliged to leave their homes and resettle elsewhere. On<br />

the other hand, the lignite industry gave almost 140,000 people a living wage in all parts<br />

of the former GDR at the end of the nineteen-eighties — which made the smaller, eastern<br />

German state into the world’s biggest lignite producer. ◘ 1 › p. 82 / 83, ◘ 2 › p. 86<br />

The Wende in 1989 and the reunification of Germany in 1990, along with the subsequent<br />

radical restructuring process in many social and economic fields, also meant a major caesura<br />

in energy policy. Numerous unprofitable open-cast mines and processing plants were<br />

closed down. What remained were huge post-mining landscapes: an executing organization<br />

responsible in mining law was founded for their recultivation, the Lausitzer und Mitteldeutsche<br />

Bergbau-Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (LMBV). The LMBV took over the tasks<br />

of securing the mining complexes and recultivating the ground, as well as creating a balance<br />

in water conditions — this was not only for the open-cast mines closed down since<br />

1990, but also for brownfields dating from the GDR period. In East Germany, despite clear<br />

legal stipulations, a deficit of recultivation totaling nearly 130 square kilometers had built<br />

up by the end of the nineteen-eighties.<br />

The Federation thus took over the duties of mining recultivation in the former GDR<br />

open-cast mines and provides the necessary financial means for this to the present day,<br />

due to an administrative agreement negotiated for five years at a time. In principle, the financial<br />

cost is shared by the Federation (75 percent) and the affected states (25 percent).<br />

The sum of ten billion Euros spent during the fourth administrative agreement from 2007<br />

to 2012 clarifies the huge expenditure necessary for these tasks, and the responsibility for<br />

restoration has not finished yet.


After the Wende, those open-cast mines that were still competitive were privatized and<br />

continued to be operated by the Lausitzer Braunkohle AG (LAUBAG), later by Vattenfall<br />

Europe Mining AG. In contrast to the former state-owned GDR open-cast mines, today<br />

Vattenfall itself is responsible for the recultivation of post-mining landscapes, as this task<br />

belongs to the legal duties of the mine operators.<br />

Insight: new landscapes<br />

after mining The Prussians had already studied the question of how to deal with post-mining<br />

landscapes and enforced a ministerial edicton, the “reallocation of land to its former<br />

purpose after full extraction of coal” in 1922. Since then, the basic orientation has been<br />

on re-establishing forest and agricultural areas that were previously lost to mining within<br />

the landscape as reshaped by mining. In the GDR era, top priority was given to the recreation<br />

of agricultural areas. There were plans to renew the Mining Law of the GDR in 1989,<br />

enabling more conceivable plans for post-mining landscapes according to the differing<br />

quality of the soil in each case. However, this approach was not pursued further because<br />

of the Wende. Instead, since then the principles for the design of post-mining landscapes<br />

in Lusatia and also in the vicinity of Leipzig / Halle / Bitterfeld — the second large-scale<br />

lignite mining region in eastern Germany — have been oriented on those valid in North<br />

Rhine-Westphalia.<br />

In what has now been ninety years since the enforcement of the Prussian ministerial<br />

edict, very little has changed in the mainly retained, basic scheme of recultivation: where<br />

areas of forestry or agriculture have been lost as a result of open-cast mining, they have to<br />

be re-established after open-cast mining activities have finished. One example is “Welzow-Süd,<br />

Teilabschnitt I,” segment 1 which has an area of almost eighty-nine square kilometers:<br />

according to the latest plannings, approximately sixty-five square kilometers including<br />

renaturation surface, that is 73 percent of the total area, are to be restored to<br />

forestry and woodland (from 1994 on, approximately 11million deciduous and evergreen<br />

trees were planted there), another 22 percent (twenty square kilometers) is being reused<br />

for agriculture today. Recultivation is happening while mining still endures, so that up to<br />

December 2011 61 percent of the mining area could already be reused.<br />

84<br />

This compulsory measure for post-mining landscapes, known as “recultivation” and written<br />

into “lignite planning” like a statute, is based on the idea of “healing” a landscape<br />

changed by human intervention. But this idea already appears absurd, if only because<br />

open-cast mining changes the landscape permanently and its intervention cannot be revised,<br />

i. e., “healed” — otherwise, it would be necessary to start shifting billions of cubic<br />

meters of moved earth for a second time, and supplementing them with the volume of<br />

the excavated lignite, merely in order to recall the landscape exactly as it presented itself<br />

before the start of the open-cast mining.<br />

There is no doubt that it is a great achievement to make huge areas fertile and possible<br />

to recultivate after mining. To the present day, the LMBV — which is faced with the task of<br />

securing and renewing 224 open-cast mining cavities with approximately 1,190 kilometers<br />

of embankments (of these approximately 660 kilometers have been tipped and are in acute<br />

danger of slipping) in East Germany — has already secured almost 600 kilometers of embankments<br />

and recultivated around 1,200 square kilometers of post-mining landscape: in<br />

the majority of cases by planting forest, but also by creating agricultural, nature conservation,<br />

and water areas. In order to secure unstable slopes — a necessary precondition to<br />

their use as forestry and agricultural areas or as places for leisure and relaxation — new<br />

technologies such as vibro-compaction have been developed.<br />

Today, convincing as the absolute figures and high technical standards of renewal and<br />

recultivation work may be, the lack of overarching design ideas for post-mining landscapes<br />

is very noticeable indeed. The International Building Exhibition (IBA) Fürst-Pückler-Land<br />

2000–2010 gave itself the task of improving upon this deficit, operating above all as a<br />

“workshop for new landscapes.” In its title, it referred to the visionary Prince Hermann<br />

Ludwig Heinrich von Pückler-Muskau (1785–1871), who had already created a new cultural<br />

landscape in Lusatia as a symbiosis of economic use and aesthetic experience in the<br />

nineteenth century. In 1997, the founding board of trustees of the IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land<br />

formulated the demand to design, in Lusatia, “a new landscape entirely its own, which — in<br />

awareness of natural forces, with respect for nature’s long periods of development, and<br />

taking responsibility for the cultural heritage of lignite extraction — strives towards a fascinating<br />

landscape merging art and nature … In each individual situation, the leading im-<br />

85


After the Wende, those open-cast mines that were still competitive were privatized and<br />

continued to be operated by the Lausitzer Braunkohle AG (LAUBAG), later by Vattenfall<br />

Europe Mining AG. In contrast to the former state-owned GDR open-cast mines, today<br />

Vattenfall itself is responsible for the recultivation of post-mining landscapes, as this task<br />

belongs to the legal duties of the mine operators.<br />

Insight: new landscapes<br />

after mining The Prussians had already studied the question of how to deal with post-mining<br />

landscapes and enforced a ministerial edicton, the “reallocation of land to its former<br />

purpose after full extraction of coal” in 1922. Since then, the basic orientation has been<br />

on re-establishing forest and agricultural areas that were previously lost to mining within<br />

the landscape as reshaped by mining. In the GDR era, top priority was given to the recreation<br />

of agricultural areas. There were plans to renew the Mining Law of the GDR in 1989,<br />

enabling more conceivable plans for post-mining landscapes according to the differing<br />

quality of the soil in each case. However, this approach was not pursued further because<br />

of the Wende. Instead, since then the principles for the design of post-mining landscapes<br />

in Lusatia and also in the vicinity of Leipzig / Halle / Bitterfeld — the second large-scale<br />

lignite mining region in eastern Germany — have been oriented on those valid in North<br />

Rhine-Westphalia.<br />

In what has now been ninety years since the enforcement of the Prussian ministerial<br />

edict, very little has changed in the mainly retained, basic scheme of recultivation: where<br />

areas of forestry or agriculture have been lost as a result of open-cast mining, they have to<br />

be re-established after open-cast mining activities have finished. One example is “Welzow-Süd,<br />

Teilabschnitt I,” segment 1 which has an area of almost eighty-nine square kilometers:<br />

according to the latest plannings, approximately sixty-five square kilometers including<br />

renaturation surface, that is 73 percent of the total area, are to be restored to<br />

forestry and woodland (from 1994 on, approximately 11million deciduous and evergreen<br />

trees were planted there), another 22 percent (twenty square kilometers) is being reused<br />

for agriculture today. Recultivation is happening while mining still endures, so that up to<br />

December 2011 61 percent of the mining area could already be reused.<br />

84<br />

This compulsory measure for post-mining landscapes, known as “recultivation” and written<br />

into “lignite planning” like a statute, is based on the idea of “healing” a landscape<br />

changed by human intervention. But this idea already appears absurd, if only because<br />

open-cast mining changes the landscape permanently and its intervention cannot be revised,<br />

i. e., “healed” — otherwise, it would be necessary to start shifting billions of cubic<br />

meters of moved earth for a second time, and supplementing them with the volume of<br />

the excavated lignite, merely in order to recall the landscape exactly as it presented itself<br />

before the start of the open-cast mining.<br />

There is no doubt that it is a great achievement to make huge areas fertile and possible<br />

to recultivate after mining. To the present day, the LMBV — which is faced with the task of<br />

securing and renewing 224 open-cast mining cavities with approximately 1,190 kilometers<br />

of embankments (of these approximately 660 kilometers have been tipped and are in acute<br />

danger of slipping) in East Germany — has already secured almost 600 kilometers of embankments<br />

and recultivated around 1,200 square kilometers of post-mining landscape: in<br />

the majority of cases by planting forest, but also by creating agricultural, nature conservation,<br />

and water areas. In order to secure unstable slopes — a necessary precondition to<br />

their use as forestry and agricultural areas or as places for leisure and relaxation — new<br />

technologies such as vibro-compaction have been developed.<br />

Today, convincing as the absolute figures and high technical standards of renewal and<br />

recultivation work may be, the lack of overarching design ideas for post-mining landscapes<br />

is very noticeable indeed. The International Building Exhibition (IBA) Fürst-Pückler-Land<br />

2000–2010 gave itself the task of improving upon this deficit, operating above all as a<br />

“workshop for new landscapes.” In its title, it referred to the visionary Prince Hermann<br />

Ludwig Heinrich von Pückler-Muskau (1785–1871), who had already created a new cultural<br />

landscape in Lusatia as a symbiosis of economic use and aesthetic experience in the<br />

nineteenth century. In 1997, the founding board of trustees of the IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land<br />

formulated the demand to design, in Lusatia, “a new landscape entirely its own, which — in<br />

awareness of natural forces, with respect for nature’s long periods of development, and<br />

taking responsibility for the cultural heritage of lignite extraction — strives towards a fascinating<br />

landscape merging art and nature … In each individual situation, the leading im-<br />

85


1997 Recommendations of the founding committee of the<br />

IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land<br />

The concept divides the IBA area into “Landscape Islands” with unique<br />

individual character. The leading theme in the landscape island Welzow<br />

is “Monument of Open-Cast Mining.”<br />

2000 Recommendations of the founding committee of the<br />

IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land<br />

The principles of the IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land are published. The leitmotif<br />

of the IBA is “to create new landscapes from mining without denying<br />

the mining past.”<br />

2001 Joint visit to the Eden Project (UK) by IBA and LAUBAG<br />

The Eden Project in Cornwall is an impressive presentation of the contrast<br />

between the bare, desert-like landscape of a former open-cast mine<br />

and an “oasis,” — the new “Garden of Eden” in dome-shaped greenhouses.<br />

International student workshop “Workshop for New <strong>Landscapes</strong>”<br />

One hundred students from sixteen countries develop new ideas for the<br />

landscape islands of the IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land.<br />

2002 Feasibility study “Desert / Oasis Welzow”<br />

The study presents a concept that would leave the desert-like traces of<br />

open-cast mining work visible in the landscape and envisages an “oasis”<br />

for tourist use at its center. The IBA committee of experts decides to<br />

accept the idea as a new project.<br />

2003 German Award for Landscape Architecture<br />

The Association of German Landscape Architects (bdla) pays tribute<br />

to the project “Desert / Oasis Welzow,” praising its processual character<br />

and creative staging.<br />

2004 Further development of the feasibility study “Desert / Oasis Welzow”<br />

In a study entitled “Changing Landscape,” the planners develop a<br />

choreography adapted to the technical conditions of filling in the new<br />

landscape.<br />

“Energy Landscape Welzow” becomes an IBA project<br />

The IBA committee of experts decides to accept the new project. The<br />

aim is a sample cultivation of quick-growing trees for energy production<br />

in the post-mining landscape Welzow-Süd.<br />

2005 “Red card” for “Desert / Oasis Welzow” —<br />

Start for the “IBA-Landscape Project Welzow-Süd”<br />

After citizens’ protests, the IBA decides against continuing the project<br />

and promises a new approach entitled “IBA-Landscape Project Welzow-<br />

Süd.” Together with representative of the adjoining communities, the<br />

specialist offices and the mining company, new ideas are discussed in a<br />

working committee.<br />

Research into ecological systems is started<br />

Vattenfall hands over the reconstructed water catchment area of the<br />

“Hühnerwasser” to the scientists of Brandenburg Technical University<br />

Cottbus as a research site.<br />

2007 “Red card” for the “Half-Moon”<br />

in the “Landscape Project Welzow”<br />

At the ninth meeting of the working committee, the project has to be<br />

abandoned due to existing conflicts between national interest and lack<br />

of regional agreement, as well as a large number of technical problems.<br />

Nonetheless, the specialist committee decides that it should continue to<br />

be an IBA project—as an option for the future with open content.<br />

First tours in the open-cast mine Welzow-Süd<br />

The Mining Tourism Association Welzow offers tours in the active part<br />

of the open-cast mine Welzow-Süd.<br />

96<br />

97


11 Signing ceremony of the Lausitz Charta at Senftenberg Theater (“Neue Bühne”). From left to right:<br />

Manfred Kolba (LMBV), Prof. Dr. Günter H. Schulz (Hochschule Lausitz), Prof. Dr. Walther Ch. Zimmerli (BTU Cottbus),<br />

Dr. Karl Heinz Tebel (BASF Schwarzheide), Dr. Hartmuth Zeiß (Vattenfall), Dr. Friedrich von Bismarck (Bund-Länder-<br />

Geschäftsstelle für die Braunkohlensanierung), Brigitte Scholz (IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land, organisation), Siegurd Heinze<br />

(Landkreis Oberspreewald-Lausitz), Prof. Dr. Rolf Kuhn (IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land), Frank Szymanski (Stadt Cottbus),<br />

Carl-Heinz Klinkmüller (Landkreis Dahme-Spreewald), Christian Jaschinski (Landkreis Elbe-Elster), Harald Altekrüger<br />

(Landkreis Spree-Neiße). Not shown: Prof. Dr. László Ungvári (TH Wildau)<br />

11<br />

TEN PROPOSITIONS FOR THE HANDLING OF<br />

POST-MINING LANDSCAPES<br />

1. Setting an example<br />

The development of a post-mining landscape must be exemplary. As a<br />

consciously planned treatment of a cultural landscape, the development<br />

has a model character and must contribute to the implementation of<br />

international goals and standards of sustainable development.<br />

2. Using resources<br />

The legacy of mining, land, buildings, and infrastructures are industrialheritage<br />

resources for a sustainable development. The preservation<br />

and reuse of typical components creates special places that shape the<br />

look of a region and bridge the past and the future.<br />

3. Fostering identity<br />

A post-mining landscape must have its own, new characteristics. The<br />

original landscape and the lost home cannot be reproduced. New<br />

developments must begin at meaningful locations, with the goal of<br />

promoting identification and shaping a new identity.<br />

4. Broadening the planning horizon<br />

The planning for a post-mining landscape must begin before mining<br />

lays claim to the land. From the beginning, planning must represent<br />

goals for the future design and development and must make possible<br />

new options for temporary use. Planning must accompany mining processes<br />

and react flexibly to changing framework conditions.<br />

5. Shaping the process<br />

The process of redesign must be tangible. Information, staging of changes,<br />

and intermediate uses are important elements of the process that<br />

convey change and provide departure points for a change of identity.<br />

7. Generating pictures<br />

Pictures and outlines of a future development are important as eyeopeners<br />

and vehicles for imagining the future. Even at the beginning of<br />

the conversion process events and constructed images are indispensable<br />

as landmarks to manifest the goals and perspectives of development.<br />

8. Ensuring transparency<br />

The development of post-mining landscapes must be open and transparent.<br />

The triad — comprehensive participation by those who are affected,<br />

common decision-making, and implementation of planning with<br />

the participating actors — must be guaranteed in all phases of planning.<br />

9. Building the organizational structure<br />

The implementation of the planning goals must be secured by an organizational<br />

structure that is capable of acting and sufficiently equipped<br />

with funding and personnel. The organizational structure takes over the<br />

process management, establishes networks, and organizes funding<br />

and promotions. The requirement for these functions is a binding legal<br />

framework that identifies planning levels, tasks, and responsibilities.<br />

10. Taking responsibility<br />

The polluter-pays principle applies to rehabilitation. The task of qualitative<br />

development that produces added value cannot be solved on the<br />

local level alone. It must be supported by entrepreneurial and higherlevel<br />

public responsibility, as well as by cooperation among local authorities<br />

and additional partners.<br />

100<br />

6. Allowing for creativity and innovation<br />

The development of new cultural landscapes requires a vanguard and<br />

creativity, exchange of insider and outsider perspectives, as well as open<br />

decision-making structures. The process must be organized in such a<br />

way as to facilitate innovative solutions and new pathways.<br />

101


8 Lusatia 2000–2010: the IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land examined the radical change<br />

of an entire region after the end of the lignite industry. Here, it was a matter of<br />

landscape cultivation and industrial culture, but above all of understanding and<br />

learning processes among those affected.<br />

8<br />

IBA Lusatia—<br />

making plans in exceptional circumstances “In the beginning, people still thought that<br />

when one industry went another would soon come along,” Manfred Sack says, recalling<br />

the long predominant mood in the Ruhr, “a mistake that was made again much later, in<br />

East Germany as well, after the reunification of Germany.”4 The East German “mining<br />

area” was Lusatia, the GDR’s former energy region. An era of unrestrained productivity<br />

had come to an end here, too. Where bulldozers had rumbled, chimneys smoked, and<br />

cooling towers steamed not so long ago, suddenly there were threatening industrial ruins.<br />

The social climate was defined by unemployment, a crisis of meaning, and migration away<br />

from the area.<br />

Particularly in the initial phase of the IBA Lusatia, repeated and willing attention was<br />

drawn to its conceptual affinity with the previous event in the Ruhr. In the exhausted lignite<br />

state, however, there was never any intention to create a second IBA Emscher Park,<br />

but — in a certain sense — its next, i.e., intensified stage. The consequences of the radical<br />

change brought about in Lusatia in 1989 resembled the structural change in the Ruhr region<br />

only in their general direction, if at all. In particular, it was quite incomparable how<br />

the radical and abrupt deindustrialization of complete areas of East Germany was so readily<br />

accepted — including the way that almost all the previously existing social and cultural<br />

frameworks were thrown into question. Alarmed social researchers even warned that<br />

without structural-political guidance to the contrary, one could expect not “the transformation<br />

of the economic basis, but its erosion.”5<br />

This diagnosis was especially pertinent to Lusatia with its continuing monostructure<br />

oriented on lignite and energy production.6 In the open-cast mines alone, approximately<br />

85 percent of those previously employed — more than 60,000 workers — lost their jobs<br />

between 1989 and 1997. Not only was an environmentally polluting raw material for energy<br />

being pulled back to a massive extent: at the same time, tremendous technological<br />

modernization was being implemented, as demonstrated most impressively by the lignite<br />

power station Schwarze Pumpe, completed in 1998 (the most modern in Europe at the time).<br />

Having consumed a construction budget of 3.5 billion marks, its operation today requires<br />

less than 200 people per shift, and that includes canteen workers and the security team.<br />

124<br />

While the West German IBA project, with its comparatively extensive material resources,7<br />

could see itself as a large-scale planning experiment with the various guarantees and reassurances<br />

of a laboratory situation, in Lusatia it was not about testing this or that kind<br />

of future; from the first day onwards, it was quite literally a matter of survival. There is<br />

no doubt that other options of future development may be open to the urbanized, highly<br />

populated, and still financially strong conurbation between Duisburg, Bochum, and Recklinghausen.<br />

By contrast, after the end of a “coal rush” that lasted around a hundred years,<br />

the thinly populated stretch of land between Cottbus, Finsterwalde, and Kamenz threatens<br />

to revert almost without transition into the status quo ante, into structurally weak “hinterlands”<br />

characterized by even more migration away.<br />

Karl Ganser, director and key mentor of the IBA Emscher Park, offered encouragement<br />

to feel especially motivated by such a desperate initial situation: he suggested that an IBA<br />

would only function at all when a region was in such a terrible position, as people would<br />

only then be ready and willing to abandon well-trampled paths. The Federal Ministry of<br />

Building adopted this idea with regard to the IBA in Lusatia: “The immense pressure of<br />

suffering in the region leads to a great willingness for risk and constitutes a prerequisite to<br />

innovative design approaches.”8 ◘ 8<br />

The IBA as an<br />

exceptional circumstance Since dauntless planners began to concern themselves with<br />

the desolate conditions of real crisis regions, the term building exhibition has taken on a<br />

new meaning. Whether in the crumbling district of Berlin-Kreuzberg, beside the wildly<br />

overgrown banks of the Emscher canal, in the shrinking small and middle-sized towns of<br />

Saxony-Anhalt, or in the post-mining landscapes of the lignite region waiting for new purpose<br />

to be generated — in such places there could be no progress along well-beaten tracks.<br />

Thus, IBAs should not only open up new insights but also essentially reveal new ways forward,<br />

and according to a continually recurring pattern: within a defined period — ten years<br />

as a rule — available creativity and funding should be concentrated upon work dealing with<br />

highly complex social problems in a large-scale experiment with an open outcome. News<br />

of the success of such searching for insights in practice (learning by doing) had spread<br />

125


144 144<br />

the “crazy” idea. Ultimately, something really special is<br />

created for and with the town of Plessa in just six weeks:<br />

a large-scale “Sea of Flowers and Lights.” “We had 6,000<br />

candles burning,” she says, raving about how it looked.<br />

“It was fascinating for us to see how all the individual<br />

projects came together to create a unified whole. That’s<br />

something people are going to remember. That and how<br />

everyone worked together, young and old.” It was a step<br />

in the right direction for Carola Meißner. And her next<br />

campaigns? Well, they are right around the corner!<br />

How to Build a Sling<br />

What this IBA will leave its heirs<br />

Tina Veihelmann<br />

The IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land is breaking up camp, leaving behind few constructions but<br />

great expectations — as Wolfgang Kil writes elsewhere in this book. If we view the IBA<br />

as a major attempt at an “experimental region,” its success will be measured in terms of<br />

the ultimate sustainable effect of its projects. And whether its experiments provide useful<br />

instruments to demonstrate how, after lignite, all those things are possible that were provided<br />

by mining: employment and income, a cultural understanding of self, and identity.<br />

These questions are immense. Bearing them in mind, the landscape shooting past our<br />

windows seems strangely undramatic. We are traveling through flat country that could<br />

hardly be less spectacular. Pine trees, birches, villages of brick-built houses. Only to be<br />

shaken from this reverie from time to time by truly colossal views. Like the bio-towers of<br />

Lauchhammer, which appear from nowhere like enigmas constructed in stone. Like F 60,<br />

a recumbent giant rising above the forest. We are heading for Lichterfeld. There is no need<br />

for signposts. The visitors’ conveyor bridge is visible from far away.<br />

“Big,” says a woman from Hamburg who is climbing the steps of the bridge in front of<br />

us. When she says “big” she is talking about the view, and she is quite right. What seemed<br />

flat and monotonous from the ant perspective suddenly develops space. Klettwitzer Lake<br />

glitters below us, wind turbines rotate on the horizon, and there is a cooling breeze to the<br />

face. “Our landscape looks more beautiful from up here,” jests the visitor guide with the<br />

blue helmet. The bridge is big and the efforts to make F 60 possible were big, too. In the<br />

beginning, it was the idea of a few visionaries: a landscape architect, a small number of<br />

local residents, and the parish representatives of Lichterfeld Schacksdorf. With no experience<br />

whatsoever of how to make mining machinery accessible, they launched a successful<br />

project. Aided by the IBA and their own courage to do the impossible. “Initially, people just<br />

looked at me with pity,” admits Michael Nadebor, once a miner and now CEO of the society<br />

of friends. “It’s a machine,” his pals said each morning by their lockers. “A magnificent<br />

machine. But who’s going to travel here for the sake of a machine?” ◘ 1 › p. 146 / 147<br />

Today, the figures speak for themselves: the visitor mine F 60 attracts around 80,000<br />

visitors to Lichterfeld every year. It provides eleven regular jobs, to which you can add the<br />

visitor guides, a small restaurant, and everything that is mobilized and realized when<br />

events are being organized. People can no longer imagine what it was like without F 60;<br />

145<br />

5<br />

F 60 from above 1 >


8 The iba tours team at the Lake Land model on the IBA Terraces<br />

“Canyons, Desert and Oasis”: on an excursion into the landscape<br />

of the active open-cast mine Welzow-Süd not yet recultivated.<br />

9 ><br />

8<br />

beque, eat, and boat across the lake. “The Sparkasse sat in the jury, so at least that meant<br />

they could hardly say no to my financial plan,” she jests. At the moment, she is still struggling<br />

with starting difficulties in a lake area that is not yet fully developed. For instance,<br />

with the fact that the link to Senftenberg Lake is not going to be finished in 2012 as previously<br />

announced, but probably not until 2013. The pioneers here don’t get their futures<br />

handed to them on a plate, she says. You have to believe in an idea. And hang on in there.<br />

<br />

If the IBA is to be understood as an experimental region, whether the IBA projects actually<br />

succeed is not the only decisive question. What evolves on either side of it is equally<br />

interesting at least. From the start, the IBA did not appear as a rescuer but as a catalyst: to<br />

adopt things, support them, and facilitate them, offering an example at best. The big hit<br />

is not decisive; the important thing is to create a productive basis. Inasmuch as here and<br />

there experience is generated, showing people how to take new paths and make progress:<br />

in small as well as major undertakings, one of which will succeed now and then. The spirit<br />

of the founders may not evolve in this way, but insight will certainly be generated: a shared<br />

treasure of experience showing how those who stay here despite everything or who want to<br />

come here despite everything can achieve something. By being bolder than is customarily<br />

expected. Demonstrating more networking competence than a dozen managers and more<br />

imagination than the discoverers of America.<br />

<br />

The IBA is still visible on the IBA Terraces in Großräschen — in blue cubes with white<br />

letters. But it has already passed on the baton: to preparers of the ground, who intend<br />

to stay and continue. “IBA-Tours” no longer stands for “tours of the Internationale Bauausstellung”<br />

but for a business run by a father who was miner and plumber and is now a<br />

travel guide. And his son, once a student of sociology — now the founder of a company. It<br />

began when Hoika senior’s plumbing business went bankrupt after the Wende and he was<br />

looking out for new opportunities. He bought a green minibus, which he based at the IBA<br />

Terraces in Großräschen. He was one of the first to show visitors the Lusatian Lake Land,<br />

which was associated with post-mining cavities rather than water at the time. He acquired<br />

special permits to drive along their immediate edge, showing people the new views, and<br />

156<br />

it was in Großräschen that the “Journey to Mars” began. Hoika’s one-man team did not<br />

experience a rocket start, by any means. He progressed step by step, never further than his<br />

strength permitted. But when the IBA abandoned camp, his company was just big enough<br />

to inherit the IBA tours. ◘ 8<br />

He fetched his son on board because he was not sure whether he could manage everything<br />

on his own. Together they founded “IBA-tours,” which is now the name of their<br />

“special tour.” Father is the specialist in down-to-earth matters and his son provides academic<br />

backup. Together, they seem to get everywhere.<br />

Even now, they don’t take any big leaps but calculate carefully. Their strength lies in<br />

their skill at connecting everything and everyone. In this area, where distances are long<br />

between highlights for the visitor, where gastronomic services are just emerging, and planning<br />

a two-day tour with an overnight stay is still a challenge. They plan their tours so that<br />

the visitor giants and F 60 are on route — beauties that are rare indeed. They take in places<br />

that are visited so infrequently that guided tours are only by arrangement. In this way, the<br />

Hoikas are able to offer “secret tips” — and the operators can rely on a definite number of<br />

guests. The experimental region has got plenty of special features but many things are still<br />

lacking: hotels, for example. They in turn are struggling for calculable occupancy rates. It<br />

is like a game in which some of the pieces are missing. Only those who combine ingeniously<br />

will get on. “Of course we are competing for guests,” Sören Hoika says. “Only we<br />

have realized that here in particular we need to cooperate very well. Otherwise, we have no<br />

chance at all.”<br />

<br />

The IBA will soon be history. What is left are its legacies. Before evening falls, we travel to<br />

Welzow once again. A mining personnel carrier picks us up and we set off with the motor<br />

roaring — right into the heart of the landscapes for which Lusatia has become known in<br />

recent years. The bizarre hill formations, sudden rifts, expanses of sand. The local players<br />

here are called “Excursio,” and the Mining Tourism Association of the town of Welzow<br />

is behind the name. A handful of locals founded it. “When we began six years ago, we<br />

wanted to develop Welzow,” committee member Gundula Stede recalls. “And we asked<br />

oursleves: what is Welzow if you don’t see the open-cast mining?” Excursio has traveled<br />

157


6<br />

Paradise 2<br />

Seven staged productions<br />

Jürg Montalta<br />

This was the key theme of seven art projects realized in the period 2007 to 2010. In 2011,<br />

“Paradise 2” received the Federal Award for Culture.1 From the following anecdotes, I<br />

hope every reader may come to his or her own conclusions about the way I approached this<br />

project, the impact it had, and how. I strongly hope that “Paradise 2” will encourage other<br />

people to attempt an art project on this scale.<br />

The beginning was in October 2003, when I came to Großräschen for the first time. I stood<br />

on the IBA Terraces and looked out into the cavity of the former open-cast mine Meuro. It<br />

almost took my breath away. I had never seen a landscape like it before in my life. Reaching<br />

right to the horizon there was an immense chaos of bizarre hills, gaping gashes in the<br />

earth revealing various sands and layers, valleys, and sparse greenery. In the context of a<br />

“Sensory Exploration of Open-Cast Mining,” I entered this scarred country in order to be<br />

closer to it, to see even more.<br />

What I saw was a ravished landscape, which both fascinated and shocked me. I could<br />

feel history and its stories. What had happened here, 120 kilometers south of Berlin, over<br />

the past decades? What immense intervention had man been bold enough to make into<br />

nature, what unbelievable forces had he set into motion to make it? How are the people in<br />

the region today, after lignite? What dreams, wishes, or visions do they have? I wanted to<br />

know, I wanted to find answers.<br />

In autumn 2007, my assistant Kerstin Gogolek and I began a six-month tour of discovery<br />

to all of the IBA projects. We wanted to get to know them, the landscape connected to<br />

each one, and the people there. We had more than three hundred conversations, which<br />

created the basis to the art project “Paradise 2”. Our first stop at that time was in Welzow,<br />

the town alongside active open-cast mining.<br />

On a journey of discovery, we met a woman from Welzow, Gudrun Jentsch. “I love my<br />

home,” she said to us. “But at the same time, I am always torn between the mining of lignite,<br />

the necessary jobs, and this ruthless exploitation of nature. That affects many of us.”<br />

She picked up a piece of the road, a piece of the last road into the village that had made<br />

way for the mining bulldozers —Haidemühl. She always used to go there to dance when<br />

172<br />

173


6<br />

Paradise 2<br />

Seven staged productions<br />

Jürg Montalta<br />

This was the key theme of seven art projects realized in the period 2007 to 2010. In 2011,<br />

“Paradise 2” received the Federal Award for Culture.1 From the following anecdotes, I<br />

hope every reader may come to his or her own conclusions about the way I approached this<br />

project, the impact it had, and how. I strongly hope that “Paradise 2” will encourage other<br />

people to attempt an art project on this scale.<br />

The beginning was in October 2003, when I came to Großräschen for the first time. I stood<br />

on the IBA Terraces and looked out into the cavity of the former open-cast mine Meuro. It<br />

almost took my breath away. I had never seen a landscape like it before in my life. Reaching<br />

right to the horizon there was an immense chaos of bizarre hills, gaping gashes in the<br />

earth revealing various sands and layers, valleys, and sparse greenery. In the context of a<br />

“Sensory Exploration of Open-Cast Mining,” I entered this scarred country in order to be<br />

closer to it, to see even more.<br />

What I saw was a ravished landscape, which both fascinated and shocked me. I could<br />

feel history and its stories. What had happened here, 120 kilometers south of Berlin, over<br />

the past decades? What immense intervention had man been bold enough to make into<br />

nature, what unbelievable forces had he set into motion to make it? How are the people in<br />

the region today, after lignite? What dreams, wishes, or visions do they have? I wanted to<br />

know, I wanted to find answers.<br />

In autumn 2007, my assistant Kerstin Gogolek and I began a six-month tour of discovery<br />

to all of the IBA projects. We wanted to get to know them, the landscape connected to<br />

each one, and the people there. We had more than three hundred conversations, which<br />

created the basis to the art project “Paradise 2”. Our first stop at that time was in Welzow,<br />

the town alongside active open-cast mining.<br />

On a journey of discovery, we met a woman from Welzow, Gudrun Jentsch. “I love my<br />

home,” she said to us. “But at the same time, I am always torn between the mining of lignite,<br />

the necessary jobs, and this ruthless exploitation of nature. That affects many of us.”<br />

She picked up a piece of the road, a piece of the last road into the village that had made<br />

way for the mining bulldozers —Haidemühl. She always used to go there to dance when<br />

172<br />

173


8 Illuminated power station in Plessa<br />

9 For the seventh staging of the Paradise Art Project, thousands of torches<br />

formed a chain of light along the 14-kilometre-long shore of Lake Sedlitz<br />

with the motto “Off to new shores! An almost utopian light and sound<br />

sculpture” (visualization).<br />

9<br />

8<br />

and they kept to the agreement they had made. In eight weeks, as well as a celebratory<br />

“coffee and cake get-together” in the cultural center they organized a marvelous sea of<br />

flowers on its forecourt, a huge sea of lights on station road, and also staged a splendid<br />

scenario of lights at the power station. To finish there was music. More than 2,000 visitors<br />

came. Bernd Kadur, one of the protagonists in Plessa, reported to me three weeks after the<br />

performance: “We have decided that the power station and cultural center factions will<br />

work together in future.” And I ask myself: how many conflicts in the world could be solved<br />

in this way, perhaps? ◘ 8<br />

The utopia for the art project at Sedlitzer Lake was 7,000 children making lanterns and using<br />

them to create a chain of light along the lake’s fourteen-kilometer shoreline. The head<br />

of the fire department thought it was an excellent idea, but he could not guarantee its safety<br />

even if he called up every fireman in the region. The danger of forest fires was too great!<br />

I made my request for help in the Paradise workshop in Großräschen, where ten to<br />

fifteen citizens met regularly. How could we solve the problem of the trail of light? After a<br />

long, hard search for ideas, Günther Kalliske got in touch with me: “Last week I was beside<br />

the lake at Sedlitzer See and I saw a moving light on the opposite shore. Although it was<br />

three to four kilometers away, I could see the light of a bicycle lamp.” And so the idea was<br />

born!<br />

On September 18, 2010, thousands of people stood on the shore of Sedlitzer See. A<br />

pyrotechnician shot a red ball of light into the sky from the middle of the lake. At this signal,<br />

the floodlights of the car parks, the lights at the pumping station, and all the street<br />

lamps went off. Only the moonlight continued to glisten on the lake. Otherwise, everything<br />

was dark.<br />

Now the final act of the IBA Lusatia began with Paradise 2, which would become visible<br />

as an image of the newly emerging lake landscape. A yellow ball of light appeared in<br />

the sky. Thousands of lamps and lights were switched on, passing around the lake like an<br />

illuminated chain of pearls — it was truly “spine-tingling”! ◘ 9, ◘ 10 › p. 186 / 187<br />

The insight usually comes directly from authentic biographies. In 2005, before Paradise 2,<br />

when I staged “Everything Lost — Everything Gained?” (Alles verloren — alles gewonnen?)<br />

together with residents from the razed village of Bückgen, I discovered a lot about their<br />

lives. The people of Bückgen told the story of their resettlement in the performance.<br />

The positive echo from this stage production in the open-cast mine before its flooding<br />

was overwhelming — among the people of Lusatia and visitors to the area. This encouraged<br />

the IBA management to commission me with seven art projects for the final year of<br />

the IBA in Lusatia. The IBA building project was to be given a central role, the stage was<br />

to be the post-mining landscape, and the people of Lusatia were to be the performers. Including<br />

the citizens of the IBA region and so breaking with the customary traditions of<br />

earlier IBAs called for much foresight and courage.<br />

I was immediately interested in this task, for I believe that the time for simply confronting<br />

people with the finished issue is past. The complexity of the gigantic economic,<br />

social, and political changes that the people of Lusatia have faced and endured in only a<br />

few years demands from us all that we change our way of thinking. This extension of<br />

awareness is probably the greatest personal challenge, for everyone knows from experience<br />

how difficult it is to alter the direction of one’s thoughts.<br />

No one could have guessed that the artist’s working method would touch a deep longing<br />

in the Lusatians; a longing to be actively involved in the regional process of change<br />

rather than remaining passive. This rethinking process, this way of entering into something<br />

completely new, extended to the organizational structure of the IBA and led to some<br />

remarkable experiences — for future IBAs as well. The working method of Paradise 2 aimed<br />

to enable and admit collective intelligence, creativity, intuition, silence, and strength. It led<br />

to decisions being developed from within the actual matter in hand. Joseph Beuys summed<br />

up this phenomenon in the following way: “Mona Lisa knows more than Leonardo.”<br />

I hope that Paradise 2 will be an example to future IBAs, to parishes, towns, and businesses,<br />

helping them to find and realize solutions outside the usual trains of thought.<br />

People have a tremendous will to exercise commitment, help design things, and join in<br />

thought processes. So the success of the art project Paradise 2 speaks for itself.<br />

184<br />

185


10 “Off to new shores! An almost utopian light and sound sculpture”:<br />

Thousands of torches formed a chain of light.

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