Advance Notice BDLA Student Competition Central Germany Ballenstedt 2017/18

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The bdla Student Competition Central Germany is organized by the bdla regional groups Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The cross-state competition was initiated to deepen the cooperation of the professional association with the educational institutions and to strengthen the professional commitment in the cooperation of the regional groups.

Students at the central German landscape architecture training institutions (TU Dresden, HTW Dresden, Anhalt/Bernburg University of Applied Sciences and Erfurt University of Applied Sciences) are eligible to participate. The professors of the universities are involved in the bdla student competition Central Germany and can offer the competition task as a study project.

In order to give participants the chance to gain an insight into the work of the jury, the previous year's winner will be invited to join the jury of the following year as a voting member.

Task: Design of the outdoor facilities Großer Ziegenberg in Ballenstedt/Harz

History of the site

It is an unloved monument, the gigantic building complex of the former Nationalpolitische Bildungsanstalt (Napobi, also Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt - NPEA, or Nationalpolitische Lehranstalt - Napola) on the Großer Ziegenberg in Ballenstedt. The ensemble was built as the only new building in 1936 by the National Socialists as a prototype, who operated it as an elite boarding school. 350 pupils were accommodated in Ballenstedt at a time until 1945. Here they were to internalise the new educational spirit of the Napola by means of a "total pedagogy", in order to be trained to become particularly capable National Socialists for service to the people and the state. The English "Public Schools" and the Prussian cadet schools served as models. Napolas were selective schools. The pupils always wore uniforms. Special emphasis was placed on sports: Early morning sports before breakfast, athletics, handball, swimming, but also boxing, rowing, "cross-country sports" in the forest with introductions to map and compass reading and military camouflage. Consistent attention was also paid to enhancing "German studies" subjects such as German, geography, history, and biology. High school seniors received an honorary dagger engraved with the words "To be more than to appear." With offerings such as gliding, skiing, motorcycling, fencing, boxing, horseback riding, and in various crafts, the Napolas became attractive training grounds.

With the end of the Third Reich, the Napola Ballenstedt was dissolved and the Red Army took over the complex. In 1949 - with the founding of the GDR - the SED moved in and converted the grounds into a training centre, more precisely into the SED district party school for the Halle district. With a bookshop, a restaurant and a consumer shop, the students had everything that was desirable; there was no need to go down to the city. Doctors also came to the grounds for consultation hours. Access to the guarded complex (called the "Kremlin" by the people of Ballensted) was only granted to those who belonged to it, for all others it was the end at the bottom of the hill. During the week, the course participants lived in the converted dormitories. Future leaders were to be ideologically trained in the party school. Anyone who wanted to take on a position in the party, the state or a company had to take part in the ten-month course. By 1989, over 16,000 people had completed the party courses at the "Wilhelm Liebknecht District Party School". Congresses, music and cultural events, cinema evenings and awards were held in the lecture hall.

After 1990, various technical schools used the building complex, which has been a listed building since the 1990s, until 2005. Sports clubs converted the former dining hall into a modern sports hall and are still present here. The association "Forum Großer Ziegenberg - Ballenstedt am Harz e.V." would like to set up a documentation centre in the former gatehouse. Under the title "Lernort Großer Ziegenberg", both eras of the site are to be on display - the National Socialist period and that of the GDR.

Use of the buildings

Currently, only a small part of the large building complex is in use. The current use is limited to the south wing. There, the local sports club uses the partially renovated buildings very intensively.

There are a number of ideas for the remaining buildings, but these depend on the respective partners, investors and subsidies. In order to create a sustainable basis for the competition, the following uses are to be assumed:

East and west wings: senior citizens - residential complex
North wing - Centre: event and conference centre
North wing - West: conference hotel
North wing - East: technical college


The task for the 2017/2018 student competition is divided into two core tasks:

1. elaboration of a better urban connection to the city centre of Ballenstedt.

2. development of an open space design that allows for the diverse use of the buildings and a public use of the entire area.


Competition text by:
30 July 2017

(online at Competition from August)

Consultation colloquium in Ballenstedt:
Friday 3 November 2017

Friday 2 March 2018

Total prize money:
2.700 Euro

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