Memo From Berlin: People Are Talking About
Mairi Beautyman -- Interior Design, 3/19/2013 8:00:00 AM
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The construction of the Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport, designed by GMP—von Gerkan, Marg und Partner Architects has turned into a hugely expensive debacle—several high officials were canned due to serious underestimates in opening date and cost. As of now, the unveiling is scheduled for 2014.
With the closure of Berlin Tempelhof Airport and soon Berlin Tegel Airport, major tracks of land are being reintroduced into the city's urban landscape. Heated debate revolves around what will be done with these sprawling landmasses and the areas around them, now no longer in the flight path.
In 2010, Tempelhof Airport reopened as park and event space Tempelhofer Freiheit and in 2011, landscape architecture firm Gross.Max. and architecture firm Sutherland Hussey Architects were selected to add park amenities including paths and facilities for children and elderly.
Tegel Airport development is still very much in the planning stage, but a popular suggestion is Urban Tech Republic, an industrial research park that, if built, would be dedicated to Berlin's growing technology industry.
Another intriguing space generating buzz is a section of the Treptower Park forest along the Spree River, where dinosaurs still roam in an abandoned amusement park. Built in 1969, Kulturpark Planterwald, later renamed to Spreepark, offers a rare glimpse of a space dedicated to pleasure during the reign of the GDR. In 2012, a group of artists raised over $26,000 on Kickstarter to transform the grounds with art and urban design, but the future of the park remains uncertain.
While rebuilding Berlin's royal palace, or Stadtschloss (destroyed during WWII, and demolished in 1950) is no longer up for debate, this is another project that can get Berliner collars up due to its outrageous price tag, clocking in at 590 million euro (about $778.5 million). Greenlighted in 2011 and designed by Franco Stella, the new Stadtschloss is slated for completion in 2018.
Adding to the mix is the discovery of a cabaret theater, buried under 30 tons of rubble in 1934 to halt the festivities it encouraged. Architecture firm LAVA will transform the 1905 building—designed by renowned German architect Oscar Garbe—into a small-scale performance and event space with luxury apartments.
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