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Gross Max and Sutherland Hussey wins huge Tempelhof airfield project

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Sutherland Hussey Architects and landscape architect Gross Max have won a competition to masterplan the overhaul of Berlin’s abandoned 400-hectare Tempelhof Airport

Closed to air traffic in 2008, the future of the 1930s Ernst Sagebiel-designed airport has been the subject of fierce debate and was even put to a city-wide referendum (AJ 26.04.08).

Now the inner-city site will be transformed into a new park under ambitious €61.5 million plans by the two Edinburgh-based firms. The terminal, renowned for its role in the Berlin Airlift, was opened to the public and has become popular with cyclists and paragliders.

The proposals include a 60-metre artificial mountain housing a climbing school, an events pavilion, and ‘cloud pavilions’ built from remnants of ‘airfield furniture’. The masterplan also features new promenades and the potential to build housing. The scheme is planned to complete by 2017.

Colin Harris of Sutherland Hussey said: ‘When you look at the site on the map you realise just how important it is to Berlin.’

Eelco Hooftman of Gross Max said the project was the practice’s ‘biggest ever’ competition win. He added: ‘Berlin is the creative capital of Europe it really if the city of culture right now and for us this is a really exciting project.’

The firms, which are already collaborating on an 1,000-hectare park in Chengdu, China, saw off stiff competition from German and French contenders to win the two-stage open competition run by Berlin City.

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