Projects

Stadtland

The IBA Thüringen has made StadtLand its primary theme. Through three key areas of action, the IBA aims to promote a new quality of relationship between the town and the country.

IBA Programme (PDF)

REUSE Vacant Properties

The IBA Thüringen examines practical, tangible ways of making use of the potential of vacant property in the towns and country and is embarking on an initiative to match unused buildings with new uses. The influx of refugees has given fresh impetus to this topic. To this end, the IBA Thüringen is seeking model projects for activating and converting vacant buildings and for piloting new methods and design approaches. Given the urgency of the current situation, the mechanisms of current standards, norms and procedures must be re-evaluated. The IBA asks: How much is good enough? How quickly do we need to act? and how can we still cultivate Baukultur in the process?

Blankenhain, Vivendium

Blankenhain, Vivendium

Blankenhain, Vivendium

Body and spirit: A church as a centre for health therapies

Local stakeholders want to develop a common space for spirituality and therapies in the Church of St. Severi in Blankenhain. A corresponding lighting and furnishing concept is currently being developed. The church with health focus is the latest project from the ‘Querdenker’ call for ideas in 2017 to achieve IBA project status.

 

Schwarzatal, Haus Bräutigam

Schwarzatal, Haus Bräutigam

Schwarzatal, Haus Bräutigam

New urban-rural connection: Association redevelops Sommerfrische residence

The ‘Haus Bräutigam’ association is developing a former ‘Sommerfrische’ summer holiday residence in Schwarzburg into a place for short-term living and working after the ‘Zukunftswerkstatt Schwarzatal’ stepped in and saved the building in the centre of the village from demolition. The communally organised project for the resource-efficient reconstruction and conversion of the disused building is intended as a model for similar initiatives in the village, region and beyond.

‘Haus Bräutigam’ also represents a new symbiotic urban-rural connection. In addition to acquiring IBA project status, the association has also been granted funding from the ‘Rural Development in Thuringia’ initiative as part of the ‘European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development’. In autumn 2019, work began on gutting earlier alterations and removing the applied facade to expose the house’s original half-timbered appearance.

Dates 

Momentan keine Termine

Location 
Haus Bräutigam
Am Schloßberg 10
07427 Schwarzburg
Germany
Main Partners
Sponsors
  • Thüringer Ministerium für Infrastruktur und Lamdwirtschaft:
  • Maßnahmen und Projekte der Regionalentwicklung und zur Gestaltung der Folgen des demografischen Wandels
  • Revitalisierung von Brachflächen
IBA Project Coordination

Ulrike Rothe
Project director
Telefon +49 3644 51832-13
​ulrike.rothe@iba-thueringen.de

Krobitz, Chapel of St Anna

Krobitz, Chapel of St Anna

Krobitz, Chapel of St Anna

Small-scale renewal: A chapel resounds with music

“Old and new, tradition and innovation complement each other perfectly in this project. The innovative spirit, the sensitive handling of the site and its traditions, and the participation of and interaction with people clearly mark out the Chapel of St Anna in Krobitz as an IBA project.”
Prof. Barbara Holzer, IBA Thüringen Advisory Board

Until recently, the small Chapel of St Anna served just once a year as a place of congregation. Villagers from Krobitz in the Saale-Orla district came together to celebrate Ascension – outdoors, due to the dilapidated state of the interior.

The turnaround came in response to an open call for new and unconventional ideas for churches as part of the ›STADTLAND:Church‹ exhibition in 2017 initiated by the EKM Evangelical Church in Central Germany and the IBA Thüringen.

The renowned international artist Carsten Nicolai gave the 11th century Romanesque chapel a new musical heart: a sculptural installation entitled ‘organ’ in the form of a gas-powered pyrophone made especially for the chapel in 2017. The unusual musical instrument has since attracted hundreds of visitors to the chapel and other artists have now also been invited to contribute new compositions. The interior of the chapel was renovated with a few simple additions including a new rammed earth floor and a simple wooden bench around the perimeter. With minimal means, the chapel has been revived as a place of congregation, prayer, music and Baukultur.

The art installation for the Chapel of St Anna in Krobitz is an IBA candidate project by the EKM Protestant Church of Central Germany.

The pyrophone features two rows of gas flames and was built by Frank Fietzek and Rob Feigel. Drawing: Frank Fietzek.

In contrast to the classical (church) organ, the sound generators are flames, which produce sounds by resonating in glass cylinders.

IBA project manager Ulrike Rothe in conversation with the artist Carsten Nicolai.

The art installation lends the Romanesque chapel a special sense of place and turns it into a landmark in the gently undulating landscape of the Saale-Orla region. The art chapel is the first of a series of projects that derive from the “Think lateral!” call for ideas competition initiated by the EKM Protestant Church in Central Germany as a way of finding innovative ideas for the many empty churches in rural Thuringia.

Opening hours
The church is open for groups on request. Please send an email to: anfrage@st-anna-krobitz.de.

 

More 
On an Amazing Resonance Space
21 March 2018

On an Amazing Resonance Space
Interview with Carsten Nicolai

But above all an acoustic space?

Churches are acoustically perhaps the most complicated places. They have such a high reverberation, so strong a resonance at certain frequencies that one quickly understands that a church interior is always a huge resonance space. It should be swinging at people, as an amplifier ultimately of the word and the music. People’s religious faith should be strengthened as a whole. The church interior is more than a classical instrument, it is a resonance body.

organ exhibits another classical element of the chapel: the flame, the eternal light.

Flames have their own archaism beyond Christian symbolism. The primordial elements fire, water, air, and earth—basically one has everything there. organ plays on these basic elements. When the flame begins to resonate, then you see the air rise and the flame changes its color: the playing flame becomes blue, the non-playing flame remains yellow. The visitor will connect the fire with the sound; in principle, one has a visualization of the sound; that is the beauty of this synesthetic aspect. The flame is the light source and the fire at the same time. In winter, organ will also heat the church. Moreover, the flames deprive the environment of oxygen, so there is a rudimentary lack of oxygen. But this will not happen at the church in Krobitz, because it is too porous due to its age.

In the best sense, this sounds archaic, timeless, and somehow also meditative.

Yes, it is what one conceptualized the least in the beginning. Actually, it is a return to the original use of such spaces. That is the beauty.

Downloads 
Dates 

Momentan keine Termine

Location 
Krobitz
Germany
Main Partners
Partners
Involved in Planning Process and Artists
Execution of Construction
IBA Project Coordination

Ulrike Rothe
Projektleiterin
Telefon +49 3644 51832-13
ulrike.rothe@iba-thueringen.de

IBA Material
Thuringian Forest, Her(R)bergskirchen

Thuringian Forest, Her(R)bergskirchen

Thuringian Forest, Her(R)bergskirchen

Reconciling worship and tourism: Sacral sanctuary as wayside hostel

“The opportunity to spend the night in a church attracts people from near and far, giving the church new appeal as the social centre of the community. The Her(R)bergskirche is a successful example of sustainable tourism.”
Prof. Barbara Holzer, IBA Thüringen Advisory Board  

What’s it like to sleep in a church? Inspired by the EKM Protestant Church in Central Germany’s open call for ideas in 2017, regional stakeholders and external ideators have joined minds and hands to find new uses for churches in the Thüringer Wald holiday region. St Michael’s Church in Neustadt am Rennsteig is the first of a series of wayside shelters and overnight stopovers in churches – the so-called Her(R)bergskirchen – along the Rennsteig Hiking Trail.

A provisional solution first installed in 2017 was converted in 2018 into a permanent sleeping niche at the rear of the neo-Romanesque choir near the church tower. The model project in Neustadt enables passing hikers to stay the night in the church. 93 people took up the opportunity in 2018, and more than 155 in 2019. The success of the project has prompted the parish to come up with other possible uses: a space for yoga courses, a library and a communal cooking and dining area are now scheduled to be installed in the coming years. It also earned the church the EKM’s “Golden Steeple Award” in 2019. Additional LEADER funding has made it possible to install a guest bathroom and kitchen next to the sleeping niche in 2020 and 2021.

The success of the IBA pilot project in the Church of St Michael in Neustadt am Rennsteig has encouraged other churches to open their doors to passing hikers. Currently in discussion are the churches in Tambach-Dietharz, Spechtsbrunn, Steinheid and Gehlberg. As in Neustadt am Rennsteig, micro-architectural insertions will supplement the historical naves of the churches to create spaces for simple sleeping accommodation as well as for meetings and communal use. These site-specific interventions make the churches more usable and bring them back into the public consciousness of the villagers and visitors as public places in the community.

A diverse network of local participants has arisen around each project, and an overarching brand – the Her(R)bergskirchen – has been developed to connect the locations and coordinate ideas, marketing and tourism potential. The capital (R) is a reference to the Rennsteig Hiking Trail that runs the length of the Thuringian Forest region.

The idea is a product of the “'STADTLAND:Church 2017” ideas competition organised by the Protestant Church in Central Germany (EKM) together with the IBA Thüringen. The project was initiated and further developed by the volunteers from the parish of Neustadt am Rennsteig with the support of young architects from Berlin and Leipzig.

St Michael’s Church in Neustadt am Rennsteig became an IBA project in March 2019 and is a model project for other possible Her(R)bergskirchen along the Rennsteig Hiking Trail in the Thuringian Forest.

Schwarzatal, Döschnitz House

Schwarzatal, Döschnitz House

Schwarzatal, Döschnitz House

Where urban meets rural

“Döschnitz is more than a way to escape the hectic pace of urban life; it is about escaping from the system, about the future heterotopia of StadtLand.”
Prof. Andreas Wolf, former member of the IBA Thüringen Advisory Board

The Schwarzatal, one of the most beautiful valleys in the Thüringer Wald region, was for years a holiday destination for city dwellers in need of relaxation. Its pleasantly cool summers, beautiful half-timbered houses and freshwater courses attracted people in droves. Today, however, most of the resort hotels are empty and have fallen into disrepair. At the same time, more and more city dwellers are rediscovering the qualities of the region.

The Döschnitz House, built for the Böttner family of brewers in the 18th century, has since served as a refuge for displaced persons, the village council offices, a hunting lodge, local history museum and most recently contained a short-let holiday apartment. The newly founded association Haus Döschnitz e.V. has now taken on the historical half-timbered building with the intention of turning it into a place of exchange between the town and country and the urban and rural:

“The aim of the association is to establish a place of interaction and exchange between the urban and the rural with the help of local, regional and national participants. This can be in the fields of education and research, culture and history, and living and working. It aims to create a new place in which both individuals and groups can learn, work and live cooperatively in the context of the natural surroundings of the Schwarzatal – and to be a space that can stimulate social and democratic life in the local community through recurring programmatic impulses.” (Haus Döschnitz e.V. website)

In April 2018, the Jena-based architect Lina Maria Mentrup converted part of the house into a summer holiday apartment. The IBA project is now entering the next phase. She has since undertaken a resourceful, low-key adaption of the local history museum into a further summer residence. Her sensitive approach to the historical building fabric, and the inexpensive, low-labour approach serves as a model for the renovation of other vacant properties in the region.

The Haus Döschnitz e.V. association is supported by the Stiftung trias Foundation, the Schwarzatal Futures Workshop and the IBA Thüringen.

The Sommerfrische holiday apartment in the 400-year-old half-timbered house in Döschnitz was completed in 2018. Photo: Dörthe Hagenguth.

Historical details were uncovered and made visible for the new summer residence and combined using simple means to create a comfortable, contemporary living atmosphere. Photo: Dörthe Hagenguth.

The sensitive, cost-effective partial renovation of the listed building pays respect to the historical building fabric and was awarded an architecture prize by the Thuringian Chamber of Architects in 2019. Photo: Dörthe Hagenguth.

As a “Sommerfrische” building, the house is open to the public on Open Monuments day and the “Sommerfrische Weekend” event in summer.

Apolda, Eiermannbau

Apolda, Eiermannbau

Apolda, Eiermannbau

Open Factory: Collective reactivation of a disused architectural icon

Somewhat hidden along a side street in Apolda, the Eiermannbau is no more than a 10-minute walk away from the railway station. The iconic building from the 1930s is now a modernist monument and exemplifies the design principles of its architect Egon Eiermann: logic, purity and clarity. Initially a weaving mill and later a fire extinguisher factory, the building has stood vacant for many years. Today, its large blue-framed windows still look out over industrial wasteland where production works once stood, the view extending as far as the allotments and slab blocks in the distance.

In Jena or Weimar, a building of this calibre would not stand empty, but the demolition of the historical monument was out of the question. From an ecological and economic standpoint, options need to be explored – conservation, reuse, conversion or recycling – that can recast vacant property as a valuable resource for the future, also in locations like Apolda.

In 2017, the LEG Thüringen State Development Agency took over ownership of the Eiermannbau. The LEG has experience of tackling the problem of vacant property throughout the region. Together with IBA Thüringen, it is pursuing an innovative approach in Apolda: by granting an exclusive option period, it has given the IBA Thüringen the opportunity to gradually and successively develop a concept for the building by 2023. The aim is, in the direct vicinity of the booming towns of Weimar and Jena, to establish the Eiermannbau as a lighthouse project for the sustainable reactivation of vacant buildings that can serve as a model for other locations and buildings in Thuringia. By asking how much, or how little, is enough, the IBA aims to reappraise the assumptions of prevailing building standards and usage models: What investments are really necessary? How can rents be made affordable? And, how can a modernist architectural icon be turned into a diverse environment for creative minds and makers – into an Open Factory.

As developer and placemaker of the Eiermannbau, the IBA was also the first user to move temporarily into the industrial monument in the summer of 2017.  In order to entirely move their office to the Eiermannbau, the IBA developed a prototype expansion and utilisation concept for 750 square metres of the building from February to October 2018. In autumn 2018, the IBA team finally moved into the cost-effective, functional and at the same time well-designed office with greenhouses on the second floor. Thanks to the house-in-house solution, it is possible to use two climate zones throughout the year.

In 2019, the IBA Thüringen hosted the IBA interim presentation in the Eiermannbau. Some 10,000 visitors used the opportunity and got to know the Eiermannbau and appreciate its qualities through guided tours, events or the ‘StadtLand’ exhibition. 

Dates 

Momentan keine Termine

Location 
Auenstraße 11
99510 Apolda
Germany
Construction

Reichmann Gebäudetechnik, Bad Berka
Zehnder Group Deutschland GmbH, Lahr (Vertrieb Erfurt)
 

  • Building and construction of IBA greenhouses:
  • Students of the Bauhaus-University Weimar
  • Tobias Grabowski
  • Hannes Heitmüller
  • Simon Martini
  • Nicolas Schüller
  • Till Teubner
  • ​Katharina Wittke
IBA Project Coordination

Katja Fischer
Project director
Telefon +49 3644 51832-11
katja.fischer@iba-thueringen.de

Christoph Grube
Project Collaboration Open Factory
Telefon +49 3644 51832-04
christoph.grube@iba-thueringen.de

Dorothee Schmidt 
Renting and Marketing 
Telefon +49 3644 518 32-06‬‬
dorothee.schmidt@iba-thueringen.de

Alexander Stief
Project Collaboration Open Factory
Telefon +49 3644 518 32-03
alexander.stief@iba-thueringen.de

Links / Further Information about the Project Process
Thuringia, 2000 churches

Thuringia, 2000 churches

Thuringia, 2000 churches

New perspectives through transformation: Creative ideas and new uses for sacred buildings

"Churches shape the cultural landscape of Thuringia and are an important part of the cultural heritage of the region. Reprogramming them to promote social interaction in the respective communities helps reinforce their role in the localities and raise their perception in Thuringia and beyond.”
Prof. Barbara Holzer, IBA Thüringen Advisory Board

Churches invariably play a central role in the identity of local communities, and in Thuringia 99% of the nearly 2000 protestant churches are additionally historical listed buildings. As such they represent an important architectural and cultural legacy. The upkeep of these churches, parsonages, and other properties, however, presents a challenge, especially in the context of demographic change and declining church congregations. In cooperation with the Protestant Church of Central Germany (EKM), the IBA Thüringen and its partners therefore set out to find strategies to give new life to empty or little-used churches.

In 2016, the EKM and IBA Thüringen put out a call for ideas for forward-looking uses for around 2,000 churches.

The open ideas competition gave rise to “500 ideas for 500 churches in Thuringia” which were exhibited at the Kaufmannskirche in Erfurt.

At the opening of the exhibition on 13 May 2017, visitors were able to see hundreds of ideas for the use of church buildings. Many of the “Think lateral!” ideas were presented as videos on the monitors of the exhibition.

Six model projects have been carried forward from the call for ideas: a socio-cultural centre at St Martin’s Church in Apolda, a Her(R)bergskirche in the Church of St Michael in Neustadt am Rennsteig that serves as a wayside shelter for hikers bookable via AirBnB, the “Vivendium” Church of St Severi in Blankenhain that unites body and spirit with the daylight-infused church. Currently in the qualifying stage are a project for a garden for bees at St Peter and Paul’s Church in Roldisleben, a meditative playground in the Church of St Nicholas in Niedergebra and a digital and social network Church of St Johannis in Ellrich.

Dates 

Momentan keine Termine

Location 
Thüringen
Germany
Curatorial Project Management & Planning
Board of Trustees
  • Veronique Faucheur, Oberkirchenrat Christian Fuhrmann, Florian Heilmeyer, Prof. Barbara Holzer, Jürg Montalta, Anne Schönharting, Dr. Barabra Steiner und Tom Unverzagt 
Participators in the Querdenker Salons
  • Dr. Dankward Guratzsch, Prof. Dr. Andreas Hoffmann, Dr. Stefan Krämer, Holger Reinhardt, Dr. Mathias Rein, Elke Bergt, Marcus Schmidt, Dr. Sonja Beeck, Jürgen Willinghöfer, Dr. Marta Doehler-Behzadi, Ulrike Rothe, Lisa-Marie Hottenrott und Oliver Weiland 
IBA Project Coordination

Ulrike Rothe
Project director
Phone +49 3643 90088-12
ulrike.rothe@iba-thueringen.de

Dornburg, Estate

Dornburg, Estate

Dornburg, Estate

New uses for a historical estate: A country seat for the local university

Perched high up on the ledge of a steep limestone ridge overlooking the Saale valley is a row of three castles, with the Old Castle at one end. It is a perfect spot to while away a few hours in the sun or enjoy the well-kept gardens and panoramic view across the valley. The Old Castle, now restored, has been used by the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena since 2005 as a conference centre and meeting location but it provides no overnight accommodation.

Behind the Old Castle is the Dornburg Estate, an ensemble of buildings including the former granary, tenant’s house, old pharmacy, manor and a row of barns. Unlike the castles, the buildings are in a state of disrepair. Formerly used to supply the university in Jena, the estate was used for agricultural purposes during GDR times, but has remained vacant since German reunification. The municipality of Dornburg-Camburg, the Friedrich Schiller University and the Thuringian Castles and Gardens Foundation are working together with the IBA Thuringia to revitalise the empty estate buildings. The reactivation of historical sites for use by public institutions establishes synergies and reciprocal connections between the town and country. Various scenarios are in discussion ranging from the expansion of the university’s facilities to include overnight accommodation, to the refurbishment of the individual historical buildings as a place for working and living.

As flexible working patterns become more widespread and people become more mobile, the connection between Jena and Dornburg can benefit from the potential of the urban-rural StadtLand of Thuringia. Few places offer the opportunity to switch so easily between the high-tech facilities of the present day and historical legacy of the past.