Thüringer Meer, Seesport- und Erlebnispädagogisches Zentrum

Building with regional wood

The construction sector accounts for around 40 percent of the world's climate-damaging emissions and thus contributes to the climate crisis. Achieving the political goal of reducing carbon dioxide is therefore essential. Environmentally friendly building should not only be an option but a social obligation, especially for public projects. Building with regional, renewable building materials, particularly wood, offers a robust solution. Its ability to store the environmental toxin carbon dioxide over a long period of time, unlike concrete, and thus cause lower CO2 emissions in construction, is already a highly effective way to significantly improve the climate balance of the construction sector. The state of Vorarlberg in Austria is an example of a region with a strong wood construction culture and can serve as a model for Thuringia.

Bootshaus SEZ Kloster, Foto Thomas Müller
The starting point for the development of the Seesport- und Erlebnispädagogisches Zentrum (SEZ) in Kloster will be the old boathouse.

The Thuringian Sports Association and the Thuringian Sports Youth are very aware of their responsibility in times of climate change, especially since the sports sector is always closely linked to environmental and health issues - from sports facilities themselves to exercising in nature. In the context of their educational mandate, it is also important to pass on the topics of sustainability and regional cycles to future generations.

Based on this mission statement, the Thuringian Sports Association has decided to develop the renovation and expansion of its Sea Sports and Adventure Education Center (SEZ) in the district of Kloster in Saalburg-Ebersdorf together with the IBA Thuringia as a model project for regional and environmentally-friendly construction. An urgent construction task provided the perfect opportunity: the successfully operated and popular but aging SEZ on the picturesque Thuringian Sea urgently needed modernization to meet the needs of the mostly young guests of the Thuringian Sports Youth Education Center.

Based on an existing feasibility study, an international competition for architects and landscape planners was launched in 2020, which called for a regional timber construction method and allowed great freedom in the design implementation of the planned functional program. The design by the renowned architectural firm Ludloff Ludloff Architekten from Berlin was awarded first prize and the office was commissioned to carry out further planning.

The Thuringian State Forestry Enterprise and the industrial partner Rettenmeier Holzindustrie GmbH with its location in Hirschberg, just a few kilometers from the construction site, were able to be won as central cooperation partners. Their expertise and exceptional financial and technical support were crucial from the beginning for the cooperative project process and the definition of project goals.

Site plan of the Sea Sports and Adventure Education Center at the Thuringian Sea. Copyright: Ludloff Ludloff Architekten GmbH.
Aerial photograph of the construction site at the Thuringian Sea in March 2023.

The result will be a unique building that utilizes the existing boathouse from the 1950s for communal and sports activities. This centerpiece of the Sea Sports and Adventure Education Center will be complemented on the east and west sides by two elongated wing structures in timber construction, which will house guest rooms and seminar rooms. The new building components will be elevated like a bridge truss, allowing the landscape to flow underneath the two wings.

In total, 64 untreated larch logs from the Thuringian Forest will form the supports for the generous building wings. The demanding construction minimizes the use of grey energy, using only structural timber, board, and log material. The use of glued laminated timber and composite materials is completely avoided. An open, balcony-like walkway connects the guest rooms and seminar rooms. The guest rooms will be completely lined with wood on the inside. Conventional drywall construction is largely avoided. The existing boathouse houses the reception and dining area, as well as areas for sports activities. A special feature is a twelve-meter high climbing wall that ›grows‹ through the dining area, making the project's content profile visible to guests.

In the so-called ›lake level‹ next to and below the building wings, additional sanitary facilities for camping guests as well as boats and bicycles will be accommodated. The building will be powered by renewable energy sources, specifically air heat pumps in combination with a generous photovoltaic system. Thanks to the cooperation with ThüringenForst and Rettenmeier Holzindustrie, regional added value is guaranteed, and the timber construction will be made exclusively from woods from the regional forest.

Construction work has been underway since autumn 2022, with completion expected by the end of 2023. The public model project is already of invaluable value today with regard to the project experience gained in building regionally and sustainably. The accumulated knowledge can be made available to follow-up projects. The ambitious project also underlines the high value placed on sports-related work for children and young people by the sponsor, the Free State of Thuringia, and sets an important impetus for the region around the Thuringian Sea and beyond.

The SEZ Kloster is an educational and recreational facility of the Thuringian Sport Youth in the State Sports Association, combining adventure education with health-related youth education at the Bleilochtalsperre in Saalburg-Ebersdorf.

In the symbolic planting of an oak sapling (from left to right) we can see: Minister President Bodo Ramelow, THSJ Chairman Robert Fischer, Volker Gebhardt (Chairman of ThüringenForst) and Dr. Marta Doehler-Behzadi, Managing Director of IBA Thuringia.


SEZ Kloster
Kloster 1
07929 Saalburg-Ebersdorf

Project Sponsors


Architecture / General Planning

Building Services Planning / General Planning Team

Structural Design / General Planning Team

Andreas Külich Ingenieurbüro für Tragwerksplanung, Berlin

Fire Protection Planning / General Planning Team

Sachverständigenbüro für Brandschutz Arnhold, Weimar

Kitchen Planning / General Planning Team

Ingenieurbüro B. Prokoph, Ahrensfelde


Dr.-Ing. Bernd Schumann

Legal Advice

MSC Metzner Kilian, Erfurt

IBA Project Manager

Tobias Haag


Gespräch mit Thomas Zirkel_IBA Magazin 2022.pdf [pdf]


SEZ Kloster im IBA Finale 2023
Spatenstich und ›Bau(m)Start‹ für Um- und Neubau des Seesport- und Erlebnispädagogischen Zentrums Kloster
Fachbeirat empfiehlt IBA Projektstatus für SEZ Kloster
Internationaler Architekturwettbewerb zum Um- und Neubau des Seesport- und Erlebnispädagogischen Zentrums (SEZ) Kloster entschieden
Erfolgreiche Bewerbung als IBA Kandidat

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