Tegel Airport
Tegel Airport

Berlin-Tegel Airport
Otto Lilienthal

The most modern airport of its time

The architecture of

Berlin-Tegel Airport

When the construction of Berlin-Tegel Aiport was announced in the mid-sixties, two young, hitherto unknown architects applied for the project: Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg. With their revolutionary concept of an airport of short distances, they were handed the contract and consequently influenced airport designs worldwide.

Berlin-Tegel Airport

The hexagon does the trick

The basic architectural motif of Tegel Airport is the hexagon. Not only is the terminal building conceptualised around the hexagon, but so are the tower and other surrounding buildings, from the stairwells right up to the shape of the bus stops. There are also smaller structural elements that incorporate this motif and are often characterised by 60-degree angles.

Thus, all design elements of the airport revolve around the same geometric logic, forming an architectural unity on every level, big and small. Besides its aesthetic function, the hexagon also serves a practical purpose: its original ring shape aids passengers in orientation. Regardless of the direction you go in, you ultimately end up back where you started. A straightforward colour concept as well as uniform writing and visual language for signage contribute to this, as well.

Boulevard at Tegel Airport

The passenger as the focus of planning

From the hexagon shape comes what most consider the airport’s biggest advantage: the short distances and speedy check-in. It’s only a 30m walk from the taxi to the gate. This “drive-in airport” created in Tegel is still special today, since its architecture never required much space. This was a vital factor in the then enclosed West Berlin.

From the hexagon shape comes what most consider the airport’s biggest advantage: the short distances and speedy check-in. It’s only a 30m walk from the taxi to the gate. This “drive-in airport” created in Tegel is still special today, since its architecture never required much space. This was a vital factor in the then enclosed West Berlin.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Departing into the future

With Berlin-Brandenburg Airport, the ever-growing city gains a new airport, totally prepared for all future challenges, just as Tegel had been at the time of its opening. By the way, it was also designed by Meinhard von Gerken and Volkwin Marg.

Even though air traffic is leaving Tegel, the site still has a future. The listed buildings of the former airport will be reused to form the centre of a new, innovative concept.

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