BERLIN — It was a onetime Nazi showpiece, an indelible emblem of defiance during the Cold War’s Berlin airlift, and more recently, an unexpectedly beloved public space in this most postmodern of cities.

Now, the old airport at Tempelhof is about to find yet another incarnation: sheltering some among the massive surge of the migrants and refugees flooding into Germany. Berlin’s mayor, Michael Mueller, told the RBB broadcaster over the weekend that one of the airfield’s former hangars will be used to provide a roof – a lofty one at that – over the heads of about 800 asylum-seekers, as early as this week.

The need is great. Since the start of the current influx, the German capital has been receiving about 1,000 newcomers a day. More than 65,000 people have arrived in Germany this month, and the yearly tally may run to 1 million or more, officials now acknowledge. With winter fast approaching, housing is a crucial concern, with venues like a disused convention center and former military barracks being pressed into service.

The airport at Tempelhof was decommissioned in 2008 and eventually turned into a public park that sprawls over more than one square mile. Berliners – who flock to the vast open space on weekends to jog and bicycle on the former tarmac and send kites skittering aloft where aviation windsocks once flew – took the news of the latest repurposing in stride.

“Obviously, it’s a special situation,” said Johanna Otte, whose 5-year-old daughter squirmed in her lap as in-line skaters whizzed past. “If the space is there, we should utilize it, use it for the good.”

Tempelhof’s newfound place at the intersection of a humanitarian crisis and hipster entertainments has its jarring elements. This past weekend, the facility hosted a European franchise of the Lollapalooza music festival even as planners were working to ready the hangar space for asylum-seekers, many of whom are disoriented and exhausted after an arduous journey.