Tempelhof provides shelter for homeless orchestra

26th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

After a fire at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra concerts are to be held in a hangar of the city's vintage Tempelhof airport.

Berlin -- Berlin's Philharmonic Orchestra is to perform in a hangar at the city's landmark Tempelhof Airport this week  in a novel response to a fire which destroyed its concert hall's roof.

Conductor Sir Simon Rattle will lead the concerts from Thursday to Saturday in Hangar 2 at the urban airport, which is set for closure after a last-minute referendum could not attract a quorum of voters in its favour.

Tempelhof is jewel of 1930s architecture, encompassing hangars,terminal and administrative buildings in one giant curving arcade which runs for almost a mile. The debate about its future has been running for years in the face of competition from the airports at Schoenefeld and Tegel.

Police said Monday that fire investigators had confirmed that an error during welding work was the cause of the fire in the roof of the Philharmonie building last Tuesday. Whether someone will be charged or sued has yet to be decided.

The fire spread through the roof's insulation layer but was put out before it could damage the ceiling of the main concert chamber. An orchestra spokesman said it was hoped concerts could resume on June 2 with a makeshift roof covering the damage. Expatica with DPA

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