Schöneberger Südgelände Nature Park
The Tempelhof switchyard, a typical derelict railway site, was gradually scaled down after the Second World War and completely shut down in 1952. In the space of just 50 years a diverse, species-rich natural oasis developed in the heart of a major city, with rich dry grassland, jungle-like woodland and herbaceous vegetation.
Thanks to the efforts of many concerned citizens and with the financial backing of the Allianz Environmental Foundation, this magical place was made accessible to the general public. Several buildings and constructions from the site’s previous life as a switchyard remain, including the “Brückenmeisterei“ (an administrative building) and a water tower.
In the immediate vicinity is the 4,000 m2 former locomotive hall. This spacious hall, in which locomotives were once repaired, appeals to experimental artists. Whether as a setting for avant garde theatre from the Berliner Festspiele, for dance and performance by young artists or as a backdrop for ambitious filmmakers, the locomotive hall offers the necessary space to be creatively active and to try out new ideas. Grün Berlin GmbH is currently working on ideas for the locomotive hall that forge links between art, culture, education and sport. Possibilities include creative workshops for young people, concerts, lectures, theatre and cultural projects; it has also been suggested that the hall could be used as a hostel.
In the Brückenmeisterei building situated opposite the Senate Department for Urban Development is showing the exhibition “Pioneering Nature – the History of the Südgelände“ from Monday to Friday (April to October) along with other conservation-themed exhibitions. Visitors can also take part in a wide range of tours to find out about the site’s flora and fauna and habitat value. Since summer 2009 coffee, cakes and snacks have been available at the cafe-bistro in the Brückenmeisterei – these can be consumed in the building or in the summer garden.
The Schöneberger Südgelände Nature Park project received financial backing from the Allianz Environmental Foundation and was declared a Global Project of EXPO 2000.