3818: Inside Tegel airport

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This sound was recorded in the waiting room of the flight that was going to take me to Chile in January 2015. Listening to this recording you can perceive the classic acoustics that are produced in airports, a lot of reverberation and little intelligibility. So far nothing very new. However, the history of this sound is related to the place where it was recorded.
The basic architectural motif of Tegel Airport is the hexagon. Not only is the terminal building designed as a hexagon, but this figure is also found in the tower and other ancillary buildings, in the staircases and even in the design of bus stops. Smaller design elements also occupy the motif and are often characterised by 60-degree angles.
This type of construction exemplifies the classic architecture of the 1960 and continues to have a formative effect today, partly because its architecture required little space. In West Berlin, which was closed at the time, this was an important factor.
In addition to its aesthetic function, the hexagon also has a very practical one: Its organic ring shape makes it easier for passengers to find their way around the terminal building and no matter which direction they take, they always return to their starting point.
The hexagonal shape also reflects what many consider to be the airport's greatest advantage: the short distances and speed of check-in. There were 20 metres from the taxi rank to the check-in counter, and another 15 metres from the check-in counter, through the waiting area, to the aircraft door. For this reason the Tegel Airport was considered to be one of the most efficient airports.
With the construction of Berlin's new international airport, "Willy Brandt", Tegel closed its doors on 15 June. However, its architecture (and this recording) still exists. For the future a new district and a technology centre for more than 1000 companies is planned.
Recorded by Edgardo Gomez.
Part of the Until We Travel project to map and reimagine the sounds of transport and travel in a pre-pandemic and pandemic world. See the whole project at https://www.citiesandmemory.com/travel.

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