Tempelhof Airport bears witness to its history through its very existence and emanates this history in a unique way to its visitors. Its past, and also its present and future are being made accessible for us all to experience in a very special way: In an exhibition on the 1.2 km-long roof of the airport.
A witness to German history
Originally built between 1936 and 1942 as a monument of National Socialism, the central airport at Tempelhof was subsequently used as a US Air Force base from 1945 until 1993. It became world famous as a symbol of freedom for its role in the airlift in 1948-49. During the period of the Cold War, it provided the only unrestricted transport link with the outside world for the people of West Berlin and – thanks to all the internationally prominent figures who landed there – became a byword for a cosmopolitan way of life.
Remembering and looking ahead
The ideal location was soon found to allow visitors to experience the significance and the eventful past of Tempelhof Airport, as well as its present and plans for the future: The 1.2-kilometer-long roof that stretches across all the hangars of the airport. In the rear section of the roof, the so-called Arcade, a “Gallery of History” is to be realized in the coming years.
The central idea of the project is to make a historical commentary of past events, using innovative presentation methods in which the virtual and the real worlds are blended.
A journey through time in the exhibition tower, changing exhibits in the “boxes” – the passageways of the various stair towers – and an inviting open air exhibition platform on the roof of Hangar 7 all promise to provide a diverse range of experiences for future visitors. The many special places in the airport building which are unique “eyewitnesses” to history in their own right will be made accessible through the project and the connection between them will be established.
Step-by-step implementation from 2019
Construction work is to commence in 2019. Implementation will be carried out in accordance with the plan for the preservation of historical monuments, which is binding for the airport. The “Gallery of History” project is funded within the context of the common task “Improvement of the regional economic structure” (GRW), combining national funding with funds from Berlin state authorities, represented by the Senate Administration of Economic Affairs, Energy and Public Enterprises and co-financed by the Senate Administration for Urban Development and Housing.