ABOVE: A cross-section of the BER Terminal. Click for a larger image. (Rendering: gmp Architekten, JSK International/Björn Roll/Berlin Brandenburg Airport.)
After decades of being a big city with small airports, Berlin is moving into the modern transportation age with Berlin Brandenburg Airport, a.k.a. Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt (after the late Geman chancellor and former mayor of West Berlin).
BER, located on the site of the old East German Schönefeld Airport, has been under construction since 2006 and is scheduled to open on June 3, 2012. The airport will have two parallel runways, with the terminal located between the runways to save space and reduce noise.
All domestic, European, and intercontinental flights will arrive and depart from a single building with enough space--and enough gates--to handle up to 27 million passengers per year. (The airport's design by Von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects, a.k.a. GMP, allows for "Expansion Modules" that can increase capacity to 45 million passengers per year if needed.)
Trains will leave the airport for Berlin's city center every 15 minutes, with a travel time of less than half an hour and a fare of only 3 euros. A bicycle path will also connect the airport with the city.
Kirsen Schmidt of KMS Communications writes:
"Architecture fans and airport buffs who would like to follow the final stages of construction can participate in guided tours or take a fascinating look behind the scenes of the existing Schönefeld Airport with the help of a live airport Webcam. In addition, an info tower, standing 105 feet (32 meters) tall, will offer an outstanding view of what is currently the biggest and most exciting construction site in the Berlin region."
The BER terminal is said to be "all about clarity and clean, geometric lines, channeling the timeless beauty of the 1926 Bauhaus in Dessau." (Rendering: gmp Architekten, JSK International/Björn Roll/Berlin Brandenburg Airport.)
Click here for a larger view of the new airport's layout. (Map: Björn Roll/Berlin Brandenburg Airport.)
A 322-room Steigenberger Hotel is being built directly opposite the terminal in BER's Airport City shopping and "urban services" complex. (Rendering: ECE/Berlin Brandenburg Airport.)