Project 9: Geierswalde Leisure and Water-World

Living on the waves

In the Lusatian Lake Land, the dream of living on water has become a reality thanks to the construction of a marina for floating houses on the Lake Geierswalde. As well as enabling an innovative form of living near and on the water, this also provides a distinctive feature for the Lusatian Lake Land.


Where the Lake Geierswalde is being created today, lignite was mined in the Koschen open-cast from 1955 to 1972. The little community of Geierswalde was lucky – when mining ended, it was right on the edge of the trench, and the diggers stopped just in time. The neighbouring community of Skado, with just 200 inhabitants, had been evacuated and bulldozered. Due to the backlog of mines needing to be restored in the GDR, the »residual cavity« was left to itself for a long time, gradually filling up with groundwater (which had been artificially kept to a low level while the site was being mined). The federally-owned mine restoration company LMBV finally began restoration here in the nineteen-nineties, commencing artificial flooding in 2004. The future lake has been christened the Anrainergemeinde Geierswalde (Geierswalde residents’ community).


Although the Lake Geierswalde will not reach its planned size of 620 hectares until 2012, it is already in use. This lake is especially popular among surfers and kite surfers due to the frequent gusts of wind at certain places on its surface.

The IBA has chosen a site near the town of Geierswalde (and out of the wind) for a very different purpose: floating houses. The IBA has been advocating for its own style of floating houses on the artificial lakes since 2000, and the first concrete designs and concepts were presented in 2003, when the IBA publicly presented for discussion a design-oriented type of house with a metal construction for the Lake Geierswalde site based on a plan by eckedesign (Berlin). A year later, a regional metal construction firm created a prototype house locally.

The plan won prizes for design, and there was considerable interest in a model house actually built on the water – but construction was repeatedly delayed because the authorities, investors, building firms and the IBA itself had no tried and tested solutions to the challenges of planning floating houses for a post-mining lake. A viable solution was finally found within the region: another metal construction firm built two prototypes on land, rented them to holidaymakers and finally decided to become a new investor in the Lake Geierswalde floating house project.

After the first floating houses at Gräbendorfer and Lake Partwitz were opened in 2006, and the partnership had more experience of the planning and authorisation process, the breakthrough came for the Lake Geierswalde. In 2009, a reinterpretation of the original design entitled »ar-che« was presented as the show home for the »Wohnhafen Scado,« a group of twenty houses on the water and nine houses on land planned to open in 2011. The »ar-che« designed by WilDesign from Finsterwalde was also awarded Brandenburg’s prize for design.


»Wohnhafen Scado« will be in the southwest of the community of Geierswalde, and the plan is to connect it to an existing pleasure harbour used by sports associations and water-based tourism. By 2015, navigable canals will connect the Lake Geierswalde with the lakes at Senftenberg, Sedlitz and Partwitz. The Lake Geierswalde – the first of the new lakes to become useable – has been given an active, sports-friendly character, with surfing, sailing and motorboats permitted. The lake is divided into a peaceful half and an active half. Active sports are concentrated in a large development area around the village of Geierswalde. The northeast of the area will be given a beach amusement park – with a waterskiing centre as the main attraction. Other attractions like a climbing tower and floating islands should make the park particularly attractive to young people. A floating lake bridge is planned within the village itself to connect the planned dock for boats with the floating restaurant.


Go by public transportation or by car to Geierswalde Leisure and Water-World.

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last update: 1/26/2017 13:13