Tempelhof - The Space
The unique open space at the Tempelhof Field is something very special in a country where each and every square meter is scrutinized for its next use and purpose, and where, especially in cities the real estate and property prizes have reached indecent and vulgar proportions. To know what vastness and space in urban centres means, one has just to come to this field and marvel at the openness.
In the midle of the picture one can see the newly erected big tops of the Cabuwazi Circus, a cultural institution that is more than just a circus. Cabuwazi has different locations in Berlin, the one in Friedrichshain was gentrified away and now found this location to pitch its tents. The radar tower was built after plans of German engineer Adolf Behrens by the US Air Force in 1982, who used this part of the former Airport as a military base. Apart from actually being used as a plane tracker, the tower was one of the major eyes and ears scanning East Germany and beyond.
This container-village style refugee camp nearby the circus will host up to 1,100 refugees starting in July 2017.
Lots of tarmac and the tower of the former airport.
The vastness of the terrain is just mind boggling, all of it quasi very close to the city centre. The successful referendum of 2014 to keep the entire plot as a public space and park, is probably the single most luxurious urban-planning decision ever made. Berlin most definitely can not afford to let this sort of space not being developed. Even a compromise to develop at least a quarter of the field for desperately needed housing projects was rejected by the referendum. But then again, there is the uniqueness mentioned above...
To be repeated: V A S T N E S S in the middle of town.
This is the fourth part of the Tempelhof series. Check out the other three: