German authorities prepared a hangar at a disused airport in Berlin on 2 November to house some of the 600 to 700 refugees arriving in the capital every day.

City officials said hangar 3 at the former Tempelhof airport had been turned into a temporary emergency shelter for around 830 people as Germany expects between 800,000 and 1m asylum seekers to arrive this year – twice as many as in any previous year, and far more than in any other European Union country.

"A parking garage for planes used as refugee shelter provokes a lot of questions which we too asked ourselves," said Holger Lippmann, Berlin's official in charge of managing the former airport.

"Ultimately ... we are in a situation where we succeeded in building a shelter which corresponds to the needs of an emergency shelter."

Some weeks ago, Tempelhof's hangar 1 became a new home for around 660 refugees, mainly families. Tempelhof airport, which served as a lifeline for West Berlin during the Soviet blockade, was turned into a 250ha park in 2008, which is roughly the same size as New York's Central Park.