Competition 1965 – 1st Prize
Design Meinhard von Gerkan with Klaus Nickels
Partner Volkwin Marg, Klaus Staratzke, Karsten Brauer, Rolf Niedballa
Project team Marina Auder, Ursula August, Gerd Bickenbach, Carsten Brockstedt, Hans Buchka, Hans Dieke, Bernd Eickemeyer, Uwe Ferdinand, Gudrun Fleher, Andreas Franz, Lothar Gerhardt, Maren Gräbner, Rudolf Henning, Wolfgang Hertel, Hans Herzlieb, Wulf Hönnicke, Christian von Hopfgarten, Manfred Illig, Barbara Nehmeyer, Damir Perisic, Peter Römer, Gottfried Seule, Helge Pitz, Christel Schmitt, Manfred Wetter, Gretchen Ziese, Werner Zimmer
Client Berliner Flughafen-Gesellschaft mbH
Construction period 1970–1975
Covered area 28,000 m²
Passengers are able to drive as extremely close as possible to the aircraft pier positions. All buildings have an adjoining apron and streetside area. Check-in counters are placed in the hexagonal pier structure. The open centre of the hexagon serves as a car park for longterm parking. There are flexible loading bridges from fourteen oriel-like projections out towards airside. Another hexagonal pier ring is planned to the east of the control tower.
The floor plan is based on a triangular grid and is echoed in the elevation: the ordering principle for both structure and technical installations is the geometry of the triangle. The concrete shell is left exposed both inside and outside. The structural "skeleton" of the building remains legible. Façade claddings and suspended ceilings stretch like "skins" over and between the skeletal structure. Slanting façade surfaces are used as the "words" of the design language throughout, as in the parapet elements and the inclined haunches of column tops. The colour red appearing on the outer facades of the airport terminal constitutes the only strong contrast with the grey concrete and the bronze hues of the window glazing and smooth façade surfaces.
The projections on the airside façade lead into a circular building section, the "joint" between piers and the flexible loading bridges. Technical elements and architecture merge to form a design unity.
The double-storey main concourse hall is covered by a glazed roof. The roughness of the concrete receives an appropriate scale and proportion by virtue of staggered surfaces and the plasticity of form. In the interior it combines with fired floor tiles and a warm colour scheme to soften its effect.