251.930 Design Studio Fly to Berlin. THF Airport
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2023S, UE, 8.0h, 10.0EC


  • Semester hours: 8.0
  • Credits: 10.0
  • Type: UE Exercise
  • Format: Presence

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to deal with large historical buildings in a research-oriented and design-oriented manner. Every intervention at a listed building requires specific knowledge and strategies appropriate to the existing architecture.

The exercise offers students the opportunity to deal with the diverse requirements that must be met when preserving, repairing and carefully developing a monument. The students will also learn to include the spatial context and the planning processes, as well as theoretical and practical discussions about heritage conservation and protection policies.



Subject of course

The cultural heritage of mobility and infrastructure: Airport THF

Berlin has extensive architectural legacies of former airports, airfields and the aviation industry; numerous testimonies of mobility and infrastructure listed as monuments. In addition to aviation, these include the Berlin-Brandenburg waterway network, which has been developed since the 17th century; the rail system, which emerged in the 19th century with long-distance and local transport, such as S-Bahn and U-Bahn structures; and the Avus highway and car-friendly city, which were created in the early modern and post-war modern periods.The former Tempelhof Airport (THF) with its building is an outstanding major monument within this urban landscape of Berlin. At the same time, its preservation and development in accordance with the protection policies is a challenge due to the size, accessibility and complexity of the heritage. In addition, there are political and administrative challenges that can be traced back to the founding of Greater Berlin in 1920, the fact that THF is a state-owned property and the numerous building regulations. In 1936, under the rule of the National Socialists, construction began in the inner-city south of Berlin, but was never completed. Ernst Sagebiel created a monumental and modern architecture, which is closed to the city side and, with a length of more than one kilometre, has a formative effect on the urban space.Forced labour and armament production initially determined the uses and contributed significantly to the airport's uncomfortable legacy. The airlift of 1948/1949 connoted the airport with an unprecedented supply campaign. THF becomes the site of a political strategy in the tense relationship between the victorious powers. During the division of the city, THF stands for the free connection of West Berlin to the world. Civil air traffic ends in 2008.

For about 15 years, various conversions have been tried and established, but they have neither occupied the entire building nor created an inviting opening to the city or airfield. The large monument needs a clever conservation strategy that preserves the testimony in its multiple layers of time and interpretations, as well as transfers it into a sustainable and careful development through plural attributions of value, uses and urban policies.

Fly to Berlin - Großdenkmal THF cooperates with two institutional partners, Tempelhof Projekt GmbH and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, and we also receive impulses from invited experts. In the project and the excursion, the challenges of the Großdenkmal are reflexively examined in the double mirror of local actors and international conservation policies and practices. The three central themes are:

- THF in the context of the city: opening up and accessibility of the major monument and urban space.
- Heritage values - stock values: Evaluating the heritage and architecture by different actors and policies.
- Preservation and transformation of a major monument: approaches from theory and practice

The opening and accessibility of the large monument and urban space includes the examination of possible urban designs and possible redensification on the urban side of the large monument. The processes of assigning values can be examined discourse-analytically, as well as discussed in the mirror of the protection laws of Austria, Germany and Norway. In any case, an analysis of the existing values must be carried out and compared with those of the traditional heritage values. Approaches to the preservation and careful alterations of a major monument can be prepared by comparative approaches, here post-war modernism plays an important role. Important themes and narratives, as well as the students' own concrete ideas and interventions, should be tested in alternatives.



A compulsory excursion from 5 to 9 June in Berlin will bring us closer to the city's mobility infrastructures, explicitly also the second abandoned airport Tegel, and enable us to work at and in the THF object, where an international student workshop will take place in cooperation with Tempelhof Projekt GmbH. Arrival is on 04.06.2023 or by night train in the morning of 05.06.2023, departure on 10.06.2023 or by night train in the evening of 09.06.2023; Students must organise and pay for their own travel to and from the excursion. A ticket for the Berlin public transport system is required for the excursion period, e.g. 7-day ticket approx. 36€.

As the excursion takes place in June, there is time for students to organise their own accommodation in Berlin as a group, accordingly no excursion fee will be charged.

Teaching methods

  • Theoretical and exploratory treatment of the topic
  • Urban space and building structure analysis
  • Heritage conservation management plan
  • Strategies of opening and thematic setting
  • Concept of use and design

Mode of examination


Additional information

The project will be held in English and German.

Introduction: Tuesday 07.03.2023, 09:00; seminar room 257

Project and correction dates: Tuesday 9:00 - 14:00, seminar room 257 Registration modalities: Letter of motivation (approx. half DIN A4 page) and portfolio from 15.02.2023 until 20.02.2023, 12 noon by e-mail to rita.mullen@tuwien.ac.at.

The course is coupled with LVA 251.812 "Excursion Heritage Conservation".





Examination modalities

Concept of use and design


TitleApplication beginApplication end
Entwerfen Master (10 ECTS / 15 ECTS)13.02.2023 09:0020.02.2023 09:00


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
066 443 Architecture Mandatory elective


No lecture notes are available.

Accompanying courses


if required in English