The Berg: Berlin Goes Beyond Dubai

On top of the ruins of the closed Berlin Airport Tempelhof, the German architect Jakob Tigges proposes a plan to construct a 1,000-meter tall artificial mountain. The recent closure of Tempelhof has been an emotional decision for the Berlin people. The airport was originally constructed by the Nazis as part of their megalomanic Germania plan and played an important role in the food supply of West Berlin during the Cold War’s crisis days in 1948 and 1949. A referendum has decided that Tempelhof is going to be dismantled, and a competition is set up to collect new ideas for this mega location in Western Berlin.

By proposing The Berg, the architect plays with the concept of megalomania. He’s reflecting on the original Germania plans the Nazis had. Besides that, he poses a question regarding human power. Is mankind able to imitate the greatest and most impressive results of nature? If realized, The Berg would be the largest man-made icon. Berlin would then definitely beat Dubai when it’s about reshaping natural conditions. The mountain, in addition, is a tourist attraction unlike any city has ever served, providing Berliners and tourists with a convenient location to enjoy a range of activities. These activities include hiking, hang-gliding, rock climbing and even skiing, as the mountain would collect snow on its peak from September to March offering the perfect skiing climate in the middle of a slopeless city.

Of course, projects like this represent the international focus modern cities have when making plans for their further development. The combination of creating remarkable experiences and city branding is an important new stage in urban planning. Cities do not only focus on their own inhabitants but rather on the way they’re perceived in the rest of the world in order to compete for everything that’s footloose, such as companies, talent, tourists and nomadic workers.