Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport To Become Park

City officials in Berlin have announced the finalists in a landscape design competition for the historic Tempelhof Airport, writes Der Spiegel. Some 78 proposals were received for turning the abandoned airport, which once served as the lifeline to the city during the Berlin blockade, into a vast urban park. The six final proposals aim to turn the massive airfield, which closed in 2008, into a public space for all residents of Berlin.

Berlin’s planners decided that the designers must re-use the existing runways and other historical features, including the old but beatiful terminals. However, many of the finalists used the existing elements really as a jumping-off point for new landscape architecture elements like urban farming (including garden orchards and bee hives), new winding paths, or small hills.

Here’s a preview of the six final proposals:


Dresden-based Rehwaldt Landscape architects thinks the new park should be made up of “several concentric rings.”


GROSS.MAX of Edinburgh calls for new “fruit gardens and apiaries for bee hives in the inner city.”


Capatti Staubach design calls for the development of three zones: one will enable a range of activities “from strolling to sports,” another will provide a nature park, and the last will include edible plants.


Berlin design firm Topotek 1 wants to keep the airport largely the same, but add more trees and vegetation and create a low-impact path system. One new sector, though, will provide space for urban farming.


Another firm, Bbzl Böhm Benfer Zahiri, would also break the landscape into three distinct sectors.


BASE landscape architects, based in Paris, would allow locals “to vote on the most popular activities in the park — be it skateboarding, having a BBQ or walking a dog — and that the city then put money towards those things.”

The winning proposal will be announced in December 2010.

Read the article and see more images. 

Also, check out a New York Times article from 2008 on public debate over the future of the airfield and preservation of the buildings. There’s also a great slideshow of the closed buildings.

Image credits: (1) Agence-France Press, (2-7) Der Spiegel / (2) Rehwaldt Landscape architects, (3) GROSS.MAX, (4) Capatti Staubach, (5) Topotek 1, (6) Bbzl Böhm Benfer Zahiri, (7) BASE landscape architects.

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