From Nazi airport and aircraft factory to modern urban park, the study analyses the troubled history of Tempelhof. The research is the result of a direct and personal experience, lasted six months, that allowed the Author to witness how the role of this site changed in recent years. Against the background of Berlin, exemplary melting pot of languages and cultures, Tempelhof represents a model for a new sustainable free-time economy, created through an original process of bottom-up transformation. From the moment Tempelhof ceased to be an airport, Berliners started to use the area for countless outdoor activities. No physical modi cation occurred so the site’s historical identity has been fully preserved. The work also includes the point of view of an «average» visitor of the park, considered as a privileged perspective to understand the issue. The study uses textes about the history of Tempelhof and of the construction of the Nazi airport and press contributions about modern debates concerning the destiny of the site. No one knows what the future will bring to Tempelhof: everything is still in progress. This means there is plenty of room for discussion and debate about new meanings of this space in the heart of the city, that Berliners already consider a huge «gift» and an opportunity.
Keywords: Berlin; Airport; Urban park; Bottom-up transformation.