A New Park for Berlin: Proposals For Historic Airport's Future Unveiled
On Friday, Berlin city officials unveiled the finalists in a landscape design competition to decide the future of historic, out-of-service Tempelhof Airport. Proposals for the airport have included erecting mountains, digging lakes and establishing luxury medical centers. While less outrageous, the current crop of proposals are far more likely to happen.
It's not often that a European metropolis that is hundreds of years old has the opportunity to create a massive new public park directly in its city center. But that is exactly what the German capital of Berlin intends to do with the former Tempelhof airport, which was closed in October 2008. In the nearly two years since the runway went silent and the enormous terminal was shuttered, the stream of proposals for transforming the field into a public space have illustrated the riches of this city's creative class. They have ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Many of the proposals were intended as exercises in creativity and were not included in the official city competition. Nevertheless, they still made popular fodder for sharing and discussions on Facebook and other social networks.
On Friday, the city announced the finalists in the official competition, bringing Berlin one step closer to the final design of the massive new park. Although less lavish than some of the previous ideas, they are the most realistic ideas for Tempelhof's future to date. Six finalists have been selected by the city, narrowed down from an original 78 entries.
The general public will get a chance to debate the plans and the finalists will also be given a chance to refine their work before the final judging in December 2010.
Interestingly, though, the plan that seems to be getting the most attention in the German press currently is one that doesn't even number among the six finalists: It is one that two Berliners, Martin Brosch and Sybe Izaak Rispens, came up with, to turn the whole area into a large lake.
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