ROBINYEH

Tempelhof

The site of the current Tempelhofer Feld has a turbulent history. Each state of its existence was ephemeral, occupied by different reigns, and passed on between administrations to be repurposed. Each era has left artifacts that now sit in the public park, creating a historic puzzle that doesn’t seem to click. The former Tempelhof Airport is an ongoing construction project lasting a century. This photo series follows Tempelhof’s attempts to erase its presence as a Nazi military airport. The original Tempelhof building was deconstructed to erect a larger, more monumental symbol during World War II. Its architect, Ernst Sagebiel, yearned to construct the world’s largest building, believing that he wasn’t talented enough to design one well enough to go down in history. From then, the building has been expanded and abandoned. Quickly after its downfall post-WWII, its remnants were pecked at and modified. The world’s first underground railroad lies adjacent to the newer U-Bahn line, leaving an unused old track. With American occupation, bars and recreational areas were added. Its former dining areas are now used for corporate events and parties. Now under control of the city of Berlin, the site is preserved from commercial construction. Its runways, decorated with past markings, are used by bikers and runners. Various fields host dingy mini-golf courses, gardens, and a children’s acrobat school. The lot of the original Tempelhof Airport and concentration camp is now home to the largest refugee population of the city. The Polizeipräsident and Zentrales Fundbüro sit in deserted rooms, while the rest of the set is presented as a public park. In 2015, it served as a movie set for The Hunger Games.