The first IBA in the 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 Lausitz region for 150 years, but over 20 opencast mines were closed in the early 1990s. Left behind were wounded landscapes and abandoned industrial buildings. As a result, 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 up by Rolf Kuhn is basing its work on the experiences from IBA Emscher Park, which also focused on a former industrial landscape, as well as on Bauhaus Dessau’s “Industriellen Gartenreich” (“Industrial Garden Kingdom”). 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 Lausitz 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 (Lausitz Lake Region), Europe’s largest artificial landscape with 20 lakes. It has 14,000 hectares of water surface with navigable canals interconnecting lakes, kilometres of cycle tracks as well as floating houses, unique city harbours and buildings that give the region an 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 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.