The Aviation Display Hall was built to extend MOTAT’s existing facilities and house all of their aviation exhibits. The new building is over 3,000 sq m and is actually built on top of a former landfill, making use of a site that would otherwise be left empty. From the beginning, the display hall was designed to minimize its impact on the environment and a life cycle analysis, including empirical research into relative carbon balance and embodied energy of various structural options, was commissioned prior to material selection.
Like a large aircraft hanger, the hall is built with laminated veneer lumber beams prefabricated and then installed on site. These sustainably-sourced engineered timber beams make it possible to create an open hall without supports, and the ceiling actually resembles the wing span of an aircraft. The north facade features actuator-controlled windows and louvers throughout the building to provide natural ventilation — meaning that no mechanical air conditioning is required. Natural daylighting fills the hall to reduce artificial light where possible for the exhibitions and a rainwater harvesting system is employed to service the toilet facilities.
Since its completion in 2011, Studio Pacific Architecture and MOTAT have been awarded with a number of awards including the Public Architecture Award, NZIA Auckland Architecture Awards 2011; the Sustainability Award, NZIA Auckland Architecture Awards 2011; and the Sustainability Award, NZ Timber Design Awards.
Images ©Patrick Reynolds and Jeff Brass