In the middle of Germany’s Scientific and Technology Park the Forum Adlershof was opened in December 2010. The Humbolt University of Berlin campus and historically significant buildings from Germany’s aviation history surround the new visitor and event center in Rudower Chaussee.
Two historically protected buildings, former laboratory and workshop of the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVBL, The German Research Institute for Aviation), have been transformed into a modern event venue. A new construction with a glass façade connects these buildings.
The Forum Over The Course of Time
In the first half of the 20th century Johannisthal/Adlershof was one of the significant centers of German aviation research. Some of the buildings from that time are preserved as memorials. They were constructed by the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL – German Research Institute for Aviation), the predecessor of the Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR – German Center for Aviation and Astronautics).
The laboratory and workshop buildings are the core of the aviation center. They are the oldest preserved buildings of Adlershof. In the beginning of the 20th century Germany pushed forward its aviation research. Because of this, in January 1912 the “Kaiserpreis (Kaiser Prize) for the best German aircraft motor” was created and three months later the DVL as a club for the cultivation of German aviation was born. Up to the beginning of 1913, the DVL was tasked with the examination of the 65 motors in competition, but to do so, adequate testing facilities needed to be constructed first.
That happened in October 1912 with the completion of the first laboratory building (the second followed in 1918) onto which a workshop as well as a motor testing facility was added. Inside the laboratory and workshop buildings there was, among other things, an electrical transformer system.
From 1950 to 1990, the two historically protected laboratory and workshop buildings were used as an automobile workshop and warehouse by the guard regiment, “Felix Dzierzynski,” of the Ministry of State Security of the GDR. Several additions and re-constructions left the original appearance of the building almost unrecognizable.
Thanks to the initiative of the Berlin Senate and the Department of National Memorials, that after the fall of the Berlin Wall all memorial-valued objects in Adlershof were inventoried, the original appearance of the buildings could be largely re-constructed after extensive discussions and with the help of old photographs as well as architectural drawings. Duly, the building extensions were torn down and the two “Forum buildings” returned to their original state.