TEMPLEHOF

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A defunct institution of pre war Europe.  Tempelhof lives on as a concrete reminder of prior times, ideologies, and people divided.  

Designated as an airport by the Ministry of Transport in 1923, Tempelhof was one of the three largest air transit centers in Europe.  It’s still huge, with it’s stoic architecture and it’s unique cresant layout.  The airport defined the modern terminal, standardized checked baggage and flow of patrons in a seamless orderly path to their destinations.  

When WWII spread across Europe, Tempelhof was transitioned into a military installation.  Templehof had become a manufacturing plant for Junkers Ju 87 dive bombers and FockeWulf Fw 190 fighter planes while still functioning as an airport.  

Later on controlled by the Allies, Templehof had become the center of an entirely different military operation - The Berlin Airlift.  A drastic measure of coordinated flights of supplies to keep Berlin afloat during the Soviet blockade of the city.  2.5 million people were sustained with supplies brought by air over the course of 11 months.  

Tempelhof is a space rich in history, most of world is for that matter, but there is something particularly daunting with this space.  It’s utterly massive in proportion and overbuilt in scale.  It’s from a past time when the motive of space was to make the participant feel small, meaningless.  It still succeeds to this day.  And as a space, it’s been through a handful of drastic changing of hands but the walls are still the same.  Which leads to an interesting point of how change works.  Vessels don’t necessarily need to be demolished and reconstructed to remain useful.

Duncan Bonar