In the center of the sprawling metropolis of Germany’s capital, Berlin-Tempelhof Airport stands as both a monument to a darker era in Germany’s past and a link to its future.
Built on an airfield where the Wright Brothers once demonstrated their Flyer before a captive European audience, Tempelhof Airport was conceived by the leaders of the Third Reich as a architectural testament to the boundless ambition of German supremacy.
Captured by the Soviet Army in 1945 before it could be completed, turned over to American forces following the Conference at Yalta, and then serving as West Berlin’s lifeline to the free world during the Cold War, the airport was a central set piece in 20th century history.
After decades of dwindling postwar commercial operation following the construction of other regional airports, a referendum for its closure was narrowly approved in the mid-2000s. Since its official closure in 2008, however, a dramatic new vision for the airport has emerged…