An IBA prize-winning urban design and architecture project for new living environments in the shrinking city of Merseburg.


Merseburg is a shrinking city between Halle and Leipzig. Merseburg wants to attract new residents by transforming the GAGFAH-Siedlung and creating new living environments.  Therefore the city organized an Internationale Bauausstellung: Neue Milieus, Neue Chancen


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The site has the potential to create a new green east-west connection through Merseburg, connecting the different natural landscapes surrounding the city.

The project started from the existing green (Keep it) and intensifies the green by creating a diverse landscape (Green it). The qualities of the newly formed landscape were used to create new living environments with modern, comfortable and energy efficient houses (Live in it). A diverse urban forest in a city is the result. Pedestrian paths connect all these different landscapes.

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These different landscapes reminded us of the movie Lord of the Rings. The new living environments therefor refer to the Hobbiton and Middle Earth (north), Tree Houses (middle) and the 2 Towers (south).


The competition was done in co-operation between Spilios Gianakopoulos and David Dooghe.


IBA Merseburg, 2oo6, Merseburg, Germany