Berlin Brandenburg Airport hides in its heart, in Terminal A the central axis of the entire airport, a special architectural gem, the “Room of Silence”. The architects at Gmp were able to deal with him on a completely different subject, spiritually in the space between earth and heaven, between earth and heaven.
An airport is also present. Bordering experiences and extreme sensations are a place of pulsed traffic flow, a flood of information and cacophony, busy congestion and nervous contact. For some people, an airport is also a place of existential difficulty, where they are confronted with disturbing new things, where they develop fear, where they experience quirkiness, abandonment or uncertainty. Or where they struggle for fear of flying.
These people should be offered a chapel or prayer room, a punctuation point, where they can find peace and inner contemplation.
Today it is not just a Christian chapel that is in demand, perhaps an ecological one, but a growing number of people from different religions should also be considered. Therefore the neutral prayer room is commonly called the “room of silence” and should be open to all those seeking to break it.
In BER, the “Room of Silence” is centered
In the large-scale prosecution of an airport operation, a prayer room is one of the “nonprofits” and “service rooms”, which are deployed where secondary uses for the public can be found elsewhere, terminals elsewhere In the stomach, and therefore is often not easy to find. Not so in BER.
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Since a terminal is divided into different security zones, there are three location options: on the “land side” in the publicly accessible area or on the “air side” in the security zone. A distinction has also been made between the “Schengen area”, from where flights to the European Schengen area with free travel departures, and additionally strict “non-Schengen area” with strict personal and visa controls, which are already in place. The passport is abroad.
In the BER, a room of silence in the public area is readily available to all visitors, and especially to airport employees, and is frequently used. However, transit passengers require a visa.
The airport chapel is not a separate building, it is a house within a house, an archaic cult space inside a high-tech functional building.
The room reminds me of a crypt
Anyone who walks through the door finds himself in an otherworldly, in a cave-like atmosphere, similar to the early Christian crypt without a window, with submerged light, illuminated by Okuli in the vaults with zero light.
In the small, square reception room, a candle burns in an axial niche under the word “Silence” in ore in six different (European) languages.
There are actually two rooms of silence: the Christian chapel on the left, the multi-religious, neutral prayer room on the right. A thin, barely visible bronze cross in the arteries on the left and a square in the cosmic circle in the right artery indicates the way to the respective cell.
The interior of the chapel is sparse. In the center of the foreground on a metal frame, a gold-plated ceramic bowl shines as a baptismal font, a piece from the lifelong porcelain series “One Million” by Berlin artist Uli Aigner.
The prayer hall features Filigiri chairs, polished bronze desks with equally simple ambo and bronze tops The altar was designed by Hans-Joakim Sin, project manager from GMP. The altar cross is recessed and indirectly cut into the wall as backlit.
Actually there are two rooms
The multi-religious space on the other hand still looks empty. The circle of the world is admitted into the ground with a compass rose in bronze. It shows believers the direction of Mecca or Jerusalem. Someone temporarily put a picture of Kaaba on a chair in the corner.
Niche has some prayer postures related to BER staff. Muslims are the most common users of the room.
Simplification, moved to the utmost, helps avoid any distraction and encourages thinking. The architecture creates a rough, evocative atmosphere. It is just bricks and lights. Earth and sky, the subject of the airport, are in the room of silence at the same time.
Pyramid roof with oculus
Basically raw bricks of a flat special format make the floor, wall and vault at the same time. The “vaults” above the square rooms are pyramids inward, the “false vaults”, such as the layered stone roofs of the Apulean Truly. But appearances are misleading.
This high-tech archaic style stones are each hung individually on a steel structure. The joints are open and backlit with LED. The roof of the pyramid shines mysteriously from every joint, it seems to float.
In terms of building culture, the room is a counter-program to the modern airport. The awakening of early Christian and oriental room creations, memories and feelings deep subconscious and dormant protection in utero, or perhaps even childhood memories of the evening combines candlelight services that evoke a contemplative atmosphere.
In this way the visitor comes to rest and experiences how the light of the Zeenat falling in the dark cave brings knowledge to the existence of the earth.
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