September 11, 2020

Documentation: Bye, Bye Tegel Airport – Hello Monument!

On 8 November, Tegel Airport, the former West Berlin gateway to the world, closes. In the documentary “Bye, bye Tegel Airport – Hello Monument!”, Dr Christoph Rauhut from the Berlin State Monuments Office looks back at the airport’s eventful past and takes a look into the future and at the plans for its after-use. He shows places that passengers don’t normally get to see and talks to Tegel architect Meinhard von Gerkan and the managing director of Tegel Projekt GmbH Prof. Dr Philipp Bouteiller. When Tegel opened almost 46 years ago on 1 November 1974, it was considered the most modern and advanced airport in the world. And not because of the longest runway in Europe at the time. But because of the celebrated “drive check-in”: Since each gate had its own check-in and security area, travellers could board quickly without waiting and long distances. The “airport of the future” was designed and built by the Hamburg architectural group led by Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg. Von Gerkan has built many things in his long and successful career, but Tegel was the first major commission for the then young architect. “Today there are such things as start-ups, they start small and get bigger and bigger. Tegel was our start-up, but based on the scale, you can say it was a ‘start-great’.” In 2019, the airport and the entire site were listed. For von Gerken, this is a great joy: “It’s a feel-good feeling of recognition by the public and the people we actually work for as architects.” And Prof. Dr. Philipp Bouteiller, Managing Director of Tegel Projekt GmbH, is also looking forward to soon being in charge of this young Berlin monument. After the closure, a research and industrial park for urban technologies will be built on the site in the following years: Berlin TXL – The Urban Tech Republic as well as a new residential district: the Schumacher Quartier. “When you do a project like this, you are grateful for a historical core that gives it all a nucleus. The airport dates back to a time when people still believed in the future, it has something retro-futuristic about it. And picking that up again and developing it further is a special challenge.” For 8 years, Tegel Projekt GmbH has been developing the after-use plans for Tegel Airport. While many things have already been clarified, such as the locations for the Beuth University of Applied Sciences, the Berlin Fire and Rescue Service Academy or even the start-up and innovation centre, some points are still open: What will happen to the turbine test stand, for example? But there are already many creative ideas for these purely functional spaces. In any case – Prof. Dr. Philipp Bouteiller and his team are pleased that they will soon finally be able to start implementing them.

Click here for the video.


September 11, 2020

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