From dark to park

Thursday 12 May 2011

New chapter for Berlin's Tempelhof Airport

Once described by Norman Foster as ‘the mother of all airports’, Tempelhof Airport terminal was closed to the public in October 2008. The airbase is steeped in history, having been originally constructed in 1927 and used to assemble Stuka Dive Bombers and Focke Wulf FW 190 Fighter Planes in World War II. In more recent years, the colossal facility has acted as a commercial airport and maintained its role as a key constituent of Berlin’s urban fabric.

Two Edinburgh-based practices have now joined forces to bring this historical masterpiece back to life. GROSS. MAX. and Sutherland Hussey were recently selected as winners of an international competition to create a large public garden with associated buildings on the site, simultaneously preserving the original shell limestone terminal complex.

At 400 hectares the completed park will be one of the largest urban garden developments in Europe and is set to cost approximately €61.5m. Due to complete in 2017, this green urban scheme looks to frame the memory of an iconic symbol in Berlin’s history, once used by Prussian and later German forces as an army parade ground.

Unconfirmed tales tell of three underground levels which were flooded by a Russian Commander during a raid in 1945 and remain underwater to this day. Over the years this 1.2km long terminal building has endured multiple battles and immense volumes of commercial passengers, acted as a parade ground and construction site for warplanes. Now it is to be transformed once again, and thus the story continues...

Key Facts:

Urban design

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team