Conversion airfield Bonames

Frankfurt am Main-Bonames

Owner: Grünflächenamt Frankfurt/ Main
Area: ca. 7,7 ha
Building costs: ca. 0,9 Mio. Euro
Scope of service: Lph 1-8
Planning period: 2002 – 2004

Heavy usage

After closing down the former US Army helicopter airfield Bonames seemed to stay behind as a relic of the cold war like a contaminant in the near-natural floodplains of the river Nidda. The basic idea behind the design is to modify the original airfield and its materiality so gently that the military character of the area melts together with the surrounding nature to a new unity. Simultanously, the former airfield was opened to the public for ecreational outdoor uses.
Half of the existing hardscape was demolished, fractionated and built in again in eparately selected grain sizes, varying from 10 m2 concrete clods down to fine gravel, thus creating a wide amplitude of habitat conditions, like moisture and proliferation of nutrients. Thus a series of succession processes of ever changing plant and animal societies is started, giving a fulminant show of nature´s reconquering powers also to non-botanists. Starting from a desert-like status at the beginning to a supposed climax forest in the end the former airfield exhibits its ecological potential to tose visitors using the remaining 50 % of the hardscape.

This hardscape is ment to be used for all kinds of outdoor activities like rollerskating, cycling or just picnicking. The biological processes are subject to long term research study that will study and document the development of the different plant societies.
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2012 Awardee of the „Green GOOD DESIGN Award“ for Maurice Rose Airfield, Frankfurt Bonames
2008 Awardee of the „Award for commondable building site within the state Hessen“
2005 German Landscape Award for Maurice Rose Airfield, Frankfurt Bonames