Stefan Giers + Susanne Gabriel have designed an observation tower between Dresden and Berlin, where the largest artificial lake landscape in Europe is emerging.
In the largest artificial lake landscape in Europe, the landmark Lusatian Lakeland (Lausitzer Seenland) sets an unmissable sign: The 30-metre-high observation tower is a symbol of landscape change and a walk-in sculpture all in one. Built as part of the IBA see, it recalls the region’s industrial past and speaks of its future.
Mining shaped Lusatia for over 150 years. Up to 30 mining pits were in operation simultaneously, transforming a centuries-old cultural landscape to a lunar landscape with immense craters. When the mining era ended, they were remediated, flooded and recultivated. The Lusatian Lakeland now consists of over 20 lakes with a total water surface of roughly 14,000 hectares.
According to IBA’s vision, the lakes should be seen for what they are – man-made. It is these very breaks and links between industry and nature that shape the Lusatian Lakeland and the region. At a connecting canal, IBA see staged this tension in the centre of the lake landscape with a landmark, an accessible sculpture. The result of an architectural competition, the rust-coloured corten steel viewing tower is a reminder of the industrial history of the region and its mining machinery. At the same time, as a modern sculpture, it also emphasises what is new, unique and unusual about this changing landscape. From a height of 30 metres, visitors can now see three lakes at once as well as the Schwarze Pumpe, Boxberg and Jänschwalde power stations on the horizon.
Since its opening, the landmark has attracted a lot of attention and is a popular destination. A colloquial nickname has also already been established: The Rusty Nail.