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Danica O. Kus, Tempelhof Airport in Berlin


As an architectural photographer, I have been always fascinated by the city of Berlin and its diverse history, from the German empire to the 1st and 2nd World war, Cold War, Fall of Berlin Wall until nowadays.
Especially I’ve been interested in the architecture of Tempelhof Airport. I took a series of photographs during the guided tour in August 2017.
The architecture of Tempelhof airport is impressive and evocative. The airport building is not in function today but has a very interesting record. It took part in different roles during its lifetime.
The architect Ernst Sagebiel designed Tempelhof in 1935 under Nazis direction.
The buildings have a modern reinforced concrete skeleton construction, stone facade, steel structure of the arch; the terminal has 300.000 square meters with hangers and 1.23 km column-free cantilevered roof.
Many innovative features were introduced and have been copied around the world. The architect Norman Foster named Tempelhof as the “mother of all airports”.
In 1945 the Soviet Red Army handed over the airport to US forces. They were using the airport until 1993. From June 1948 to May 1949 the airport played an important role as a Berlin airlift,
airlifting food and fuel to West Berlin because of Berlin Blockade by the Soviet Union.
In 2008 Tempelhof stopped acting as an airport and in 2010 Berliners refused to give Tempelhof to developers, who wanted to turn it into settlements area.
The airport building has also been an attractive spot for filming industry. Several movies were made there.
Recently Tempelhof serves as a temporary refugee center and as huge Public Park outside.
The future of the Templehof airport is not known yet but many would like to preserve its uniqueness.

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