Seymour Gris: Tempelhof's 100 percent fanatics



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Interstesting Point

I think that you did not read the Plans from the CDU and SPD Senat really.
There will be 30% less Park and 5 Story Buildigs around the Park. So good by nice views.
And you need more Flats in Berlin?
But there will be just 10% Sozial Bau Wohnungen, the Rest will be high level Price Range, so good by nice Kiez hello boring living.
You want to have new Bibliothek? The existing are quiete awesome and the new Buliding will be that expensive that Berlin will have a new Milliongrab.
Please do better research instead of just simple bla bla.
Who said that this awesome big place needs to be developed right now? We have plenty of time.
The existing Senat plan is not really developed.
Lets do it in 20 Years.

Joscha more than 6 years ago

Build where there is already industrial wasteland

So much of Berlin is complete wasteland with existing infrastructure such as roads and sewers. Why would anyone think its a good idea to build on the most unique inner city park in the world? How about developing the shit hole that is most of Köpenickerstrasse before building on public parks. Also try building higher than a few stories and the housing problem might just get under control again.

Rory more than 6 years ago


I'm torn between the noble idea of Tempelhofer Feld and between of what it actually is. This project wants to integrate something new into the neighborhood, not to come in and take it over.

Martin Ilgner more than 6 years ago

Referendum on its way...

I ran into this published opinion, as I work for the campaign and was doing some research.
I don't care how you view us, but at this point ALL source of misinformation should be fought back. Specially among expats, as they are not very present in the debate, but should take part in it.
From the total of the construction (1.970.000 m2, to compare, the Versaille is 60.600 m2), only 46% are apartments, and only 50% of those are affordable. That means: 23% of the whole construction.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, just make sure to be careful with the information when a referendum is on its way.

Alba Eichhörnchen more than 6 years ago

I am a 150%er

I think we should knock down luxury flats and build big parks on them. So there!

Jacinta more than 6 years ago

wanna destroy

I like that, Jacinta. Jobs for demolition people and with the rubble we can build The Berg.

Maurice T Frank more than 6 years ago

Of course, whatever is built will be inaccessible to the average Berliner.

But, on the flip side, maybe they'll stop booking all the shitty trade fairs there. Which means Berlin will get less money. Which means more public land will be sold off. Wheeeeeeeeee!

Silver Lining more than 6 years ago

CONstruction industry and much needed housing..

walk down from the Tempelhofer Feld towards Silberstein Strasse and Mariendorfer Weg ( about 10 mins walk, or 5 mins from S-bahnhof Hermannstrasse...and surprise surprise: there you find a huge area of run down buildings ( at least enough for more than a 1000 flats ), ready to be knocked down or redeveloped. The area is developed,ie there are roads, civil works ( water, sewage etc ) its not on contaminated land, its on a brownfield site etc...
building on Tempelhofer Feld would involve the construction a major infrastructure works, ( new roads, electric and water services, the removal of the underground structures below parts of the field,decontamination of the contaminated land etc..all to be paid for by the city of Berlin and its taxpayers ( and not any private developer ) that could surely better be spent on building housing on a more economic site..
The same applies to the new library, whats the reason for building a massive new library,if the main airport building remains unused, i thought refurb and sustainable developments was one of the slogans for 21st century city developments...

florian foerster more than 6 years ago

The developers can thank themselves...

...for the 100%ers. Nobody buys the social development plans anymore since the actual affordable renting spaces all over the city were thrown to the dogs, which did a lot to make the situation worse, housing wise. There IS space in Berlin, still, it's just not as tasty as this special location. The appartments were already there - and have been and still are being sold to the highest bidder and freed from any restrictions, rent wise, that used to exist for the very purpose of relaxing Berlin's straining market!
Even in the suburbs people who lived in communal coperative housing found themselves facing their rents literally doubling after the houses have been sold to private investors. This "we'll build affordable flats, promised" thing is ridiculous, it's either a smoke screen, or incompetence a la Berlin - "OIh, we threw all of our family silver out last year, so this year we'll buy some new silver to save face for twice the money we got for the one we already had".
Throw in dozens of other project were citizens were not consulted and feel either sold out or screwed by incompetent and corrupt politics, everything from Neue Heimat and the surrounding corruption (ever heard of that?), the airport, the citiy mansion, to the Eastside Gallery and the fact that nowhere in the city, the sites by the river are accesible over long stretches like in other German riverside cities, because it's all been sold out, and you may see why the resistance is so stubborn.

It's simply hypocrisy at its best to throw in affordable space after what happened to the affordable space that WAS ALREADY THERE just a moment ago, and that didn't dissapear because of the free market, but because these very people gave a shit about it. They even changed the law to get rid of it.

People simply see another screw over coming, and don't trust the propaganda, and why should they? Had Berlin finished just ONE big project in the city in a competent way, while having an honest dialogue with its citizens - I am sure things would sound different right now.

Kantorka more than 6 years ago

Affordability hoax

Rents of 6-8 euros a square meter are not "affordable" housing. Keep in mind, this does not include the "Betriebskosten". At 8 euros a square meter, an ordinary 2 bedroom (ie, 3-Zimmer) apartment would cost in the neighborhood 700 euros before "Betriebskosten". Add a very modest "Betriebskosten" amount of 200 euros, and you're at means about 900 euros -- without heat. And, has been repeatedly pointed out, the provision for "affordable" housing is only a non-binding recommendation. All this project will do is drive up the "Mietspiegel" and force people who now live in the neighborhood to move. Do we want Berlin to become Paris, where everyone who isn't wealthy is driven to the outskirts of the city?

Naio more than 6 years ago


Ok, so no flats should be built anywhere. There is no question that subsidized social housing is a crucial part of the mix. This is what people should be fighting for. Fighting to maintain hundreds of hectares of empty space is a distraction from the real issues.

By the way, it appears a majority of Berliners want flats on Tempelhofer Feld.,10809148,25468876.html

But I guess they're just the easily manipulated masses.

Seymour Gris more than 6 years ago

Easily Manipulated

All this shows is that 59% of Berliners have been tricked by a very expensive PR campaign.

A majority want affordable housing. But they don't want the non-binding promise of 900 apartments at 8 euros per square meter kalt, which is what the Senat is actually offering.

John Riceburg more than 6 years ago

this is why

revolutionaries never trust the people and quickly become their own worst nightmare after grabbing power.

MTF more than 6 years ago

100% Fanatic

Do you live in Berlin? WHY? The fact that spaces like this exist here is part of the general appeal of the city. Tempelhof is representative of Berlin's spirit, it has been many, many things throughout it's history and now is a space that is known for it's different creative ventures and the sense of ownership the people who actually live here are encouraged to have over it. You honestly think that concerts and trade shows will still happen there once the residents of the new apartments move in and complain about the noise or the traffic? Tempelhof is my favourite place in the city, due to the fact it is unique and special to have an area like this that hasn't just been developed into flats, putting housing on spaces like this is uncreative and destroys unique open spaces in urban environments preventing them being used for more progressive purposes .Yes it would still be a "park" after the flats, but at the moment it's an old airfield, tell a tourist they can walk up the runway of an airfield where some of the first ventures into aviation were pioneered and they will think it's fucking cool, it is fucking cool! Where else can you do that? It was a park long before it was an airfield, it's history dates back to the Knights Templar and even Indiana Jones has been there. The fact it is so huge and undeveloped is its appeal and that's why we want to keep it that way. I'm sure if New York wanted to build new apartments there would be some argument over them putting them in Central Park due to the overall significance the sheer size of that park has to the city, it's the same here. It might not be the heart of Berlin but it could very well be it's lungs.

Hannah Graves more than 6 years ago

kneejerk idiocy

I know that people are allowed their opinion. However I'm not sure where you are getting your facts, - what little there are in this article. Yes 100 % TF have gone for the simple message - no building. Partially maybe because the playing field (no pun intended!) is so uneven in this debate. Did you know that they were not allowed to put any posters up on the field itself? That space was reserved for the Senate's own propaganda, er I mean information. This tactic appears to have been pretty successful as people like the author of this article seem to have been roundly convinced. Also - does Berlin really need new flats? Can I see some figures? The city is full of empty flats, however just not in areas being rapidly gentrified and which are therefore, not beloved by international investors. The rise in rental prices are down to much more complicated economic, global factors. OK Berlin is a bit broke. It is also shamelessly going for the easy option in flogging off the most desirable tracts of land for what will no doubt be expensive private housing. Whilst ignoring more challenging empty areas to build. Lets also not forget the value of the field as an amazing and unique space. How much revenue could it potentially bring in and how much does it already? This is unquantifiable. And whatever the aim of the senate is, you can be sure that it isn't keeping rental prices down for hipsters.

Kitty more than 6 years ago

Agree with Seymour Gris

I agree, the piece does sound like something from a reactionary wanker :-)

The library and the non-binding declaration of intent to build a few "affordable" apartments amongst all the offices and luxury condos are just smoke screens. Eigentumswohnungen next to a few "affordable" apartments – that cost twice as much as current prices in the neighborhood! – won't lower housing prices for anyone. This is nothing but the Berlin construction mafia planning the same stuff that they're planning everywhere else: Exclusive housing for the wealthy.

And the reason all the signatures came together is that lots of Berliners realize it:

John Riceburg more than 6 years ago

Waste of space

The 100% people are the reactionaries here. Berlin is a city. Cities often consist of buildings. Tempelhofer Feld would be pefectly lovely if 1/4 of it was developed. Still a massive playground for the kite-flyers' lobby and still an insane waste of space. Not once in the text did I say "build luxury flats". Affordable flats should be built there, obviously. People should be campaigning for that! But saying "no" to all building is just short-sighted.

Seymour Gris more than 6 years ago

Political realities

I see your point, but that's just outside the political realities of the city right now. No social housing is being built anywhere. Why think they would build it on Tempelhofer Feld?

So you're saying they should have said not "No building", but "No building of anything but public apartments and social housing available for 4 euros per square meters or less"?

That would have been an interesting strategy.

John Riceburg more than 6 years ago

The lack of research is apparent

It is apparent that the author hasn't done any research on that topic that goes beyond some blog reading. The apartments that are supposed to be build on the Tempelhofer Feld wouldn't help the bad housing situation in Berlin. On the contrary it would make things worse, because the planned apartments are targeted at a well-off clientel. The Tempelhofer Feld Lofts would raise the average rent prices in the area ("Mietspiegel") and by that raise the prices for other apartments in the area too. We do not have a shortage on lofts, expensive apartments etc. in Berlin. We have a shortage of affordable apartments for the middleclass.

On that same note: We have shortage of people who know how to write and research for a blog. I know that blogging is not considered serious journalism (which is a shame sometimes!) and Seymour Gris makes it perfectly clear why not. Maybe, Seymour, you should start doing something productive here and not berate the people of Berlin.

Zeljko more than 6 years ago


Please show me the plans for luxury flats in Tempelhof. So far, the city's plans have called for a mix, including student, low-income and cooperative housing. And the point of this blog post was to criticise the 100% people's single-minded obsession with not building anything on that this massive windy airfield.

Seymour Gris more than 6 years ago

This post had a point?

Yes, and the problem with the post is that you fail to identify any reason why that may be, choosing to just vaguely mention the fact there is ecological and historical significance to the space, something you obviously have limited knowledge of. You've condemned them as being single minded and obsessed without showing any insight into why that may be. People who support Tempelhof as a project and are opposed to flats aren't against building anything, just not housing, and the reason it is called a "meadow field" is that it isn't just a "lawn with tarmac" (have you even been there!?) There are also areas of woodland and grassland that have been developed to provide unique habitats to wildlife.

Hannah Graves more than 6 years ago

Why there?

Is Berlin running out of space to build, anywhere else? Look around the former East, Ostkreuz, there's plenty of ugly empty spaces there. I don't think building luxury flats around that space will solve housing "shortage" or raising prices.

Ed more than 6 years ago


Thank you!!! bTotally agree!!

Stephan more than 6 years ago

100% Agreed

I totally agree. It would be one thing if it was a beautiful, tree-filled park but its a ginormous windy field where you can never, never hope to find your friend's BBQ on time. Even half the size it would still be huge. In the meantime, housing in this city is impossible and everyone is getting cranky about it, so why the hell not relieve a little of the pressure? I don't want luxus flat more than anyone else but sometime I think flat with toilets would be too luxurious for the anti-gentri brigade.

I also don't understand why we need an large, empty nazi airspace but everyone was cool with demolishing the Palace of the Republic.

Tina more than 6 years ago


Totally agree. Berliner conservatism is just narrow minded and provincialist.

Gerhardt more than 6 years ago


The dumbest text about Tempelhof I ever read..... Seems that the writer has never set foot in Berlin...

Raimon more than 6 years ago


comment, on the other hand, is bursting with insight.

Maurice T Frank more than 6 years ago

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