The Hangar in Pokolbin, Australia serves as a gallery, public museum and operational facility for a collection of World War Two fighter aircraft. Located on the edge of a country airstrip, the accordion steel building features a striking design and cantilevered roof. Designed by Newport, Australia-based Peter Stutchbury Architects, the plane hangar's form was derived from the profile of a wing, which gains strength through efficient design. Constructed of steel, the roof is engineered to cantilever out 12 meters beyond the hangar and reduces overall material use to become an economical and environmentally responsible space.
Located an hour north of Sydney in the Hunter Valley wine country region, The Hangar is home to Air Action, an aviation museum with a collection of vintage fighter planes to admire and even take rides in. The facility is primarily an airplane hangar and museum, but also serves as an event space for private functions. Oriented so the bay doors open up to the north, the hangar takes advantage of passive solar design. Using the cantilevered roof for shade projection, the sides feature curved windows to pull in daylight. The ends of the building also feature administration ‘pods’ that serve as office space and viewing decks. The glass pod to the west allows visitors to get a good view of airplanes taking off and landing on the adjacent air strip.
The building’s profile is reminiscent of an airplane wing and is a highly efficient single skinned structure. Constructed from self-supporting Aramax deep corrugated steel sheeting, the roof curves from the ground around the back and up and over the top before cantilevering out over the flight deck. Only four trusses are used to support the roof, which allows for the 12 meter awning and a 30 meter sliding door opening. This engineered support system allows for a clear and uninterrupted interior space, but also minimizes material use. In fact, the structural system reduced net steel tonnage by 30% compared to other systems to get a similar effect. The Hangar was recently awarded the Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture at the 2011 National Architecture Awards.
Images ©Peter Stutchbury Architects