Tempelhof Park


The propositional reflection on Tempelhof was, essentially, the need to trace a fundamental strategic route that would allow the implementation of a generically-defined program, in a participatory process, until a state of reference, of ‘cruise-control’ management, was attained. The proposal focused on the definition of this strategic route and the concretization of its foundational moment, as a guiding document for fruitful discussion.

One of the fundamental qualities in the transformation of this large void was the near absence of programmatic commitments and, for this reason, a greater openness to ephemeral and freer temporary occupation. As such, the definition of a support of maximum flexibility and of hosting space became imperative, both in dimensional terms and in its capacity to adapt to what is accommodated. This support should be defined through the establishment of working mechanisms and not through the imposition of a design. The objective would be the projection of a new, evolutionary and highly dynamic landscape on Tempelhof, using all the diversity inherent in a global, reassuring and identifying coherence. A new Tempelhof park seen as an extraordinary opportunity for the promotion of significant change in the daily lives of Berliners.

The construction of a new ‘genetic code’, the origin of a strong and coherent foundational structure led us to one possible result – among many others –in the fixation of an essentially dynamic phenomenon. We define this code according to four principles:

— The extension of the surrounding urban fabric to the interior of the area of intervention, by means of a gradient of constructed activity and density, in a clear attempt to break with rigid linear limits;

— The strategy of spatial formalization of the void, through the consolidation of a border of sufficient volumetric density surrounding the park;

— The progressive fragmentation of formal construction and activity towards the interior, reinforcing the condition of a large central void;

— The systematic manipulation of the highly expressive confrontation between simple geometries – artificial and rigid – with more complex ones – gentle and sensitive.

The present state of Templehof Feld bears marks of great importance and expressivity, but it is also an immense homogenous page that invites addition of complexity and requires the introduction of a new, comfortable and welcoming scale, which would be added to the magnificent scale of the airport’s past without compromising it (as this is one of the essential values with which we started out).

A fundamental operation – the introduction of a topographical elevation capable of enhancing water systems in the depressions of the gently rolling hill systems, and the use of the resulting soil – corresponds to an articulate organization of the entire space. The modelling exercise itself affected all the processes associated with it, integrating, improving, or simply making them happen. From this we were able, with maximum clarity, to organize three constructional systems of the new landscape: vegetation, water, and energy systems.

The ‘vegetation system’, or phytoformation, was based on the topographic and humidity conditions created to reflect a great diversity of environments and opportunities for didactic and educational uses.

On the other hand the ‘water system’ was organized as a hydraulic system in which the different elevations led to the distinct eco-topical circumstances and very different functionalities. The large central lake had a structuring function, but was also the main reservoir, collecting water regenerated by phyto-purification treatments.

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