On the occasion of the opening of the new airport BER at October 31st and the increasing number of Covid-19 infections, Benedikt Hartl of the activistic architecture studio Opposite Office proposes to transform the new airport into a hospital for Covid-19.
The new Berlin airport BER is in construction since 2006. In the opinion of Benedikt Hartl and Opposite Office an airport in times of a pandemic and climate change a major project such as Berlin airport is not up to date anymore. Flying was no longer in vogue even before the outbreak of COVID-19.
„So why don’t we use it as a kind of super hospital for COVID-19 infected people?“ says the architect Benedikt Hartl. An advantage would be that infected people would be completely isolated at the airport area (1470ha) and would not come into contact with other patients. The main building alone, with an area of 220,000m2, offers plenty of space for medical (emergency) care. The existing airport offers untapped potential.
After the pandemic Opposite Office wants to to transform the airport BER into an ecological social housing complex. The airport Berlin-Brandenburg (BER) becomes Berlin Ecological Roost (BER), the first carbon dioxide free airport in the world. With the transformation of the BER airport, Opposite Office wants to focus the discussion to climate change and climate protection.
According to Benedikt Hartl, the construction of a large-scale airport is not appropriate anymore in our time. The corona pandemic only acts as a burning glass. The completion and opening of BER on October31, after 14 years of construction (!), is ironically just the right (lockdown) time! But even “after Corona” such projects will no longer fit into our time and that is why Opposite Office proposes a long-term project: Berlin Ecological Roost converts the airport into the first carbon dioxide-free airport. Berlin Brandenburg Airport becomes Berlin Ecological Roost – a vision in which 310,000 people (0kg carbon dioxide) instead of 28,000,000 passengers a year (14,000,000,000kg carbon dioxide) will live