Tempelhof Mountain 2

Tempelhof Mountain
Tempelhof Mountain (Copyright The Berg)

A kind of movement has developed, architect Jakob Tigges says, supporting the idea of building a mountain on the site of Tempelhof airport in Berlin. The German newspaper Tagesspiegel has taken the effort to talk to some of the supporters of the plan that have thought about how to actually build Tempelhof Mountain. In this post I will translate and summarize the article of the newspaper.

After a long debate Tempelhof airport has been closed last fall. The 300 hectare site now is about to be developed into another, regular neighborhood. In protest of that plan Jakob Tigges has proposed a 1071 meter high mountain for site. Tigges believes the Tempelhof site deserves something out of the ordinary. Not necessarily a mountain, but something.

The starting point by the Tagesspiegel article is a post on Eikongraphia. The newspaper has developed the idea to build the mountain with rubble further. The German building industry produces 280 million tons of rubble every year. If all of that is being moved to Berlin, in 5.5 years the mountain would be finished.

The only problem with that, the Tagesspiegel thinks, is the transportation. If a single truck carries 20 tons of rubble, it would require 47.000 rides/day. That is with pauses on Sunday. From an environmental perspective, that amount of rides from everywhere in Germany into Berlin is obviously not a great idea.

The solution, physicist Moritz Schieder says, is to keep the rides short. He therefore suggests to use soil from Grunewald, an area only 11 kilometers from Tempelhof. Schieder adds that the local authorities of Grunewald probably won’t support that idea.

Another protagonist of Tempelhof Mountain suggests to dig some big lakes in Mittenwalde, an area 30 kilometers of Berlin. The area could really profit from a lake like that, he thinks. When asked for a response by the Tagesspiegel, the Mayer of Mittenwalde, Uwe Pfeiffer, says he is not amused: “We have enough lakes already.”

To transport the building material through the city the best option is to use a conveyer belt, an engineering office has told Jakob Tigges. A conveyer belt of 1.80 meters wide can transport 12.000 tons of rubble or soil per hour. The engineering office has calculated that the construction of a 1000 meter mountain costs about 5 billion euro.

The Berlin soil can support such a mountain, says Hubert Quick, an engineer who has worked on the Sony Center by Helmut Jahn at Postdamer Platz. When built layer by layer, the ground will slowly settle. Quick says he knows about a planned mountain in the Middle East of twice the size of Tempelhof Mountain, which is meant to increase rainfall in the area! Quick adds that if the Berlin mountain is to be used for recreational purposes, it shouldn’t be higher than 300 meter. Otherwise the mountain would just be too steep.

With a clear sky, Tempelhof Mountain could be seen from a distance of 112 kilometers, Moritz Schieder has calculated. That means it could be seen from the Polish border. Beyond that distance views are blocked by the curvature of the earth.

I want to finish with the story by the Jakob Tigges on the Facebook page on the project:

“While big and wealthy cities in many parts of the world challenge the limits of possibility by building gigantic hotels with fancy shapes, erecting sky-high office towers or constructing hovering philharmonic temples, Berlin sets up a decent mountain. Yet, never at a loss for anything, we do not have to build it. We just picture it to ourselves and pretend its beautiful existence to everyone else: It’s peak exceeds 1000 metres and is covered with snow from September to March…
Hamburg, as stiff as flat, turns green with envy, rich and once proud Munich starts to feel ashamed of its distant Alp-panorama and planners of the Middle-East, experienced in taking the spell off any kind of architectural utopia immediately design authentic copies of the iconic Berlin-Mountain.”

 

Tempelhof Mountain
Tempelhof Mountain (Copyright The Berg)

 

Tempelhof Mountain
Tempelhof Mountain (Copyright The Berg)

 

Tempelhof Mountain
Tempelhof Mountain (Copyright The Berg)

 

Tempelhof Mountain
Tempelhof Mountain (Copyright The Berg)

Related: Tempelhof Mountain 1; ‘No’ for Tempelhof; Pyramid, by… Germany 


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