On the death of the architect Meinard von Gerkan: German world champion – culture

Architect Meinhard von Gerkan, one of the builders of Tegel Airport and hundreds of other buildings, has died at the age of 87.


Jörg Haentzschel and Peter Richter

There is a photo that shows the architect Meinhard von Gerkan as a young man next to his colleagues Volkwin Marg and Klaus Nickels in the best of moods: The three of them have put on thick hexagonal cardboard glasses, which reflect the elegance typical of the time, especially Meinhard von Gerkan’s other things Outfit – wide lapels on a velvet jacket, silky shirt, self-confident tie and drink in hand – surprisingly, hardly anything can wear. Because it is October 23, 1974. It is the year in which Reinhard Mey sings about the unlimited freedom above the clouds and the beauty of air traffic control barracks. And it is the day on which the most beautiful and, above all, most hexagonal air traffic control barracks in the entire country is inaugurated. It is the opening ceremony for Berlin-Tegel Airport, known by most to this day as TXL, which was always much more than just an aeronautical acronym, but an affectionate nickname – and as such, by the way, also the title of a wistful volume by Park Books, which was recently published by Jürgen Tietz to mark the sad farewell to TXL.

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