Each end of the arc extends like arms or wings defining one's field of vision and cradling the view of the runway. The canopy adjoins a rectangular marble entrance hall with its restrained Thirties opulence and a U- shaped square outside, where the cars arrive. It is all very formal and grand.
Compared with the bland decor and enclosed spaces of modern airports, I think there is a great sense of occasion when you arrive at Templehof because you can see the Thirties fascination with the whole idea of flying. It is a plea not to play down the whole experience to being one merely of utility. It tries to catch the spirit of flying itself which I think people do still enjoy. For me it is the last memorable experience I had when visiting somewhere. Although it is vast you get a sense of how the whole place is laid out and where you are supposed to go, whereas in a modern airport I think you just end up having to follow the signs or be directed, a rather demeaning experience.
John Burrell is a partner with Burrell Foley Fischer, Covent Garden, London WC2
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