© Victoria Tomaschko On the north side of Tempelhofer Feld, an airport-turned-park in southern Berlin, lays a large ditch. Surrounded by lots and bungalows and noticeable only to those in the know, this 19th century basin holds rainwater drained from the airport’s defunct runways before it is fed into Berlin’s canal network. “We knew it was kind of a secret spot in the center of the city that nobody had on the map,” explains Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius of Raumlabor Architects. That is, until this summer.
From April through September, the basin was occupied by a peculiar, offshore structure—a constellation of scaffolded volumes and floating platforms with inflatable rooftops and a large wheel. It was part-pirate ship and part-Princeton; part-Archigram and part-Burning Man. This was the Floating University, the brainchild of Foerster-Baldenius and Raumlabor, and the locus of a flurry of events—architectural, educational, and