Public viewing tempelhofer feld

After the closure, ns airport famous zum its Nazi und cold war history came to be a green public paradise. When developers smelled blood, Berliners dealt with back


It’s never ever easy kommen sie ask someone to give back a gift. Belastung year, political leaders asked Berliners kommen sie do precisely that through Tempelhof, die former airport turned much loved communal area.

Du schaust: Public viewing tempelhofer feld

Famous as die lifeline weil das West berlin during the cold war, Tempelhof’s airfield had actually become the German capital’s biggest park. Because it was turned over to ns public bei May 2010, die site has actually been immensely popular with families, joggers, rollerbladers, kite-flyers, wind-karters, urban gardeners, yoga enthusiasts, hipsters und layabouts; smoke rises in summer from ns abundance des barbecues. Yet there was always a niggling suspicion that the fun couldn’t tonnage – that Tempelhof’s unique status as a hugely an important piece of festland essentially offered over to ns average picnicking krapfen was auch good kommen sie be true.

“No other stadt would law itself zu such a crown jewel ,” claimed Ingo Gräning von Tempelhof Projekt, the state company running the site, together he surveyed die runways und frostbitten eco-friendly from the terminal roof. “There’s 300 hectares there. Monaco is 200.”



‘No other stadt would enable itself such a crown jewel des public space’ ... Tempelhof park with die air traffic regulate tower bei the background. Photograph: Ciarán FaheyThe last three aeroplanes flew out of Tempelhof in November 2008, a month after the airport’s main closure. Ns buildings, however, oase mostly remained in some form of use. Ns 72m radar tower is blieb used von the German military to beaufsichtigt flight traffic. Und the remarkable Nazi-era terminal, 300,000 sq ns including hangars that curve the end 1.23km under a column-free roof – said to be die biggest defended building in the world – zu sein mostly leased out. Die biggest tenants? The berlin police, who occupy some 46,000 sq m, roughly 15% des the total. (The Polizei oase been tenants due to the fact that 1951, when die US military, which take it over die airport after die second welt war, started renting the end parts des the building.)

As fine as ns police, there zu sein Berlin’s traffic manage authority, die central shed property office, a kindergarten, a tanzen school and one of the city’s earliest revue theatres – nur some of more 보다 100 businesses and institutions the call die former plane home.

City planners want more, however. Throughout local elections in 2011, plans to be mooted weil das new advertising areas and offices, 4,700 homes und a large public library, die latter a pet project of former berlin mayor klausWowereit.

Planners promised they’d only build on 25% des the site, leave 230 complimentary hectares; political leaders promised the new apartments would encompass affordable housing.



Tempelhof’s classic entwurf has made the a favourite zum large events. Photograph: Ciarán FaheyNot everyone was buying it. “This government hasn’t built a einzel social apartment zum 10 year – space they walk to start right wie park-side echt estate opens up up?” john Riceburg asked an Exberliner magazine. Meanwhile, die 100% Tempelhofer Feld initiative, complaining des “empty promises, no guarantees,” gathered enough signatures zu force the city into hold a referendum.

Last May, after month of erbitterter debate und despite a campaign backed von much of the media, 64.3% of voters chose kommen sie keep Tempelhof together it is. Political leaders were left red-faced und investors empty-handed. “It’s a defeat and it’s a clean one,” claimed Wowereit. Some media outlets were much less gracious. “The wonder is that berlin still carries on,” wrote ulf Poschardt, deputy editor of conservative newspaper das Welt. “In ns Prussian capital, hippie culture ist state policy.”

"In ns Prussian capital, hippie culture is state policy"Die welt deputy redaktion Ulf PoschardtThe rhetoric may be overblown, but ns remarkable fact zu sein that berlin will ultimately not further construct a hugely valuable piece of ja wirklich estate, every because the people decided they didn’t to trust big business not to mess trost the park they loved. It’s a state des affairs that would be nearly unimaginable bei Frankfurt or Munich, let alone london or new York.

But the capital has always been special in this respect. “Berlin ist a pioneer an re-using structures that were left end after ns division des the city,” Tempelhof projekt chief gerhard W Steindorf says, citing techno club Tresor as bei example of a effective metamorphosis. “It’s a splitterpartei city. Und Tempelhof has actually a raw charm that human being like. It’s notfall ready made, through everything at hand.”

Indeed, Tempelhof has already played host to major events, fairs, product launches, fashion shows and concerts. Seven hangars – die smallest capable des holding 2,000 people, the largest 3,800 – schutz hosted extravagant automobile industry unveilings, while ns glitzy Bundespresseball (Federal press Ball) took place an the 3,500 sq m main hall belastung year. Tempelhof wollen host a Formula e race an May, und Europe’s erste Lollapalooza music festival an September.

“Now that die field’s future zu sein safe we kann continue to schutz more occasions like that,” said Steindorf, still excited über memories of die Toten Hosen (The tot Trousers) playing to 50,000 in 2013.

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Also safe are die communal gardens. Lovingly tended über green-fingered apartment-dwellers grateful to break free von their four walls, ns allotments are frequently adorned with alt couches for gardeners zu entertain visitors; others schutz no gardens however bring your couches anyway. Beer is generally involved.

The conservation law means ns Tempelhof airfield wollen remain greatly as that is. “The plan ist to build the park with direct neighborhood involvement, but there are constraints on what kann sein be done. New buildings are out des the question,” Steindorf says.

Unlike ns airfield, die terminal building will be occurred while respecting its safeguarded status. Steindorf is excited von plans zum studios and recording facilities, offices zum start-ups and the basic conversation procedure into a “campus zum creatives”. He adds the no apartments will be built weist Tempelhof “as lang as the conservation regulation exists,” und though that respects die referendum result, that laments a let go opportunity kommen sie build cheap on publicly land.



A Tempelhof partier Photograph: Ciarán Fahey“There are other areas easily accessible but they’re usually in private hands und not central. Ns whole Tempelhof site belongs zu the city of Berlin. This was the chance for affordable housing,” that said. “Berlin requirements housing. One more 250,000 people are expected to move to die city by 2020.”

While that may be true, it ist undeniable the distrust was a key factor in shooting down the city’s proposals, particularly regarding affordable housing. Steindorf says that public representatives did arbeit hard zu keep costs down, and that a mix des affordable and, well, unaffordable was envisioned, similar zu schemes in Munich und Hamburg, through cheaper real estate on lower floors crowned by the an ext expensive variety above. “We nothing want civilization driving lang distances kommen sie work. We’ve watched what happens in other large cities, the urban sprawl and problems. Ns inner city has zu be provided priority. We need zu avoid traffic und people living outside the city bei sleepy satellite towns,” Steindorf said. “Berlin go what the could but the gelegenheit wasn’t taken. It easily spiralled into, ‘We don’t desire it.’ it was bei emotional decision. However I’m notfall sure if civilization wanted Tempelhof kommen sie stay exactly the way it is.”

The public has until 14 March zu put front ideas weil das the recreational development von Tempelhofer Feld, though their wildest dreams wollen be kept in check by the Tempelhof conservation Act. This prohibits building and construction anywhere on the former airfield und ensures only minimal development. Weil das example, no trees kann sein be planted within a huge inner circle, not even to replace tot ones. Park benches face mindful scrutiny. Irreversible toilets can not be constructed, nor an altering rooms for sports facilities. Nesting birds were currently protected, as were fenced-off areas zum insects – 112 spider and 68 beetle species oase been identified weist Tempelhof.

Despite its half-return zu nature, Tempelhof could notfall be mistaken zum anything various other than in airport. Passage signs und markings oase attained reverence among the revellers; an aeroplane as soon as used weil das training von fire dienstleistungen provides a distinctive perch zum resting birds including hawks; and information indicators inform visitors about episodes native Tempelhof’s history.

That history zu sein part des what makes Templehof dafür unique. Die Prussian army was conducting manoeuvres below as far back as 1722, while Germany’s oldest active football club, berliner FC Germania, was founded punkt Templehof bei 1888. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin flew one of his airships overhead ~ above 29 august 1909; five days later, 150,000 people watched Orville Wright fliegen eight laps.



An alt aeroplane hinweisen Tempelhof. Photograph: Ciarán FaheyThe German airline Lufthansa flourished out von Tempelhof an the 1920s, und by 1930 Tempelhof was handling more passengers than any kind of other airport an Europe. In May 1933, hermann Göring take it over the aviation industry: Lufthansa planes had swastikas ~ above their schwanz until 1945. Ns Nazis created a concentration camp hinweisen Tempelhof, an early prototype closed an 1936 zu make way zum the new airport promoted von Hitler, though never completed. ~ Germany’s defeat, Tempelhof ended up being famous for the berlin airlift in 1948-49, when die western allies responded kommen sie a Soviet blockade of land routes into West berlin by flying 2.3 million tonnes von freight into ns divided city. Wie man civilian flights resumed, Tempelhof came to be Germany’s busiest airport, in important departure point for east Germans fleeing the Soviet sector until the berlin Wall sealed the border an 1961. In 1975, civilian traffic was transferred kommen sie Tegel airport bei West Berlin’s French sector, but the US army continued kommen sie use Tempelhof after German reunification till 1993, wie man it was handed over to the berlin airport authority. The plan zu build a neu super airport, berlin Brandenburg airport (BER), do Tempelhof redundant.

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By then, however, die airport had come to symbolise flexibility on ns frontline of the cold war. Tours of the terminal building are famous with travellers fascinated von the airport’s Nazi und cold zu sein history; the park itself zu sein named Tempelhofer Freiheit, or Tempelhof Freedom. Weil das better or worse, die development plan were regarded as a threat zu this spirit. Berliners had actually had their hauptsächlich of freedom; in hindsight, it ist no surprise that they refused to give that back.