Gera, Häselburg

Gera, Häselburg

New uses for a former girls’ school: An independent cultural centre with global outlook

“Artists and makers from the cities can find new spaces of cultural potential in the StadtLand of Thuringia and in the process help reveal and cultivate the cultural scene in (still) underdeveloped Gera: the residents of the Häselburg live the “luxury of emptiness” (W. Kil) with courage, imagination and a keen spirit of creativity.”
Prof. Andreas Wolf, former member of the IBA Thüringen Advisory Board

A former 19th century girls’ school in the centre of Gera is being successively converted into a new centre for art and culture. The collection of buildings had stood empty for many years before Dr Claudia Tittel and Burkhard Schlothauer began transforming it for use as an education facility and independent centre for arts and culture in 2016.

Little by little, the old building is being reactivated for and with its future users: A gallery space and seminar rooms have already opened, and the first studios have been rented. Accommodation for students and refugees are planned, along with workshops and a catering service. The combination of housing, education and the arts expands the profile of cultural offerings in Gera and Eastern Thuringia. 

The 1st Summer Academy at the Häselburg took place from 1 April to 7 July 2017. Since then, the Summer Academy has taken place every year on different topics, which budding artists are able to explore in various courses and workshops.

The Häselburg complex encompasses a total of 2,600 m². Some is already occupied: the Thüringer Landesmedienanstalt (TLM, Thuringian State Media Authority) and Gera Art School have already rented premises and KIM runs the New Gallery for Contemporary Art on the ground floor. The ‘Old Swimming Baths’ have also been repurposed as an events space.

To secure the sensitive development of the Häselburg, the building was divided into construction phases in different ownership constellations. The renovation is taking place successively and the building has been used from the outset, also in unrenovated condition.

The centre is a project by Kultur in Mitteldeutschland (KIM, Culture in Central Germany), which is run by the entrepreneur, composer and musician Burkhard Schlothauer. Schlothauer envisages an operating model in which the profits from catering and rental fund the non-profit art spaces and cultural activities. The Häselburg demonstrates the potential of civic initiative, participation and cosmopolitan tolerance in a city one does not immediately associate with these qualities. The cultural synergies created here provides new impulses for social discourse in this once abandoned place.

The Häselburg is part of the IBA Arrival Stadtland project family, which is a pilot project of the National Urban Development Policy of the Federal Government, supported by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community.


Momentan keine Termine

Florian-Geyer-Straße 15
07545 Gera
Main Partners

KIM Kultur in Mitteldeutschland gGmbH

Involved in Planning Process
  • Thomas Laubert, architect Gera 
IBA Project Coordination

Dr. Bertram Schiffers
Project director
Telefon +49 3643 90088-14