In a design for Lewis Air Legends – a living museum of Vintage WWII era aircraft whose mission is “to preserve their memory while honoring their bravery and sacrifice. To bring the thrill of their incredible flying machines – and those they fought against – to as many people as possible in a truly international display of historic airpower.” The client charged the architect with designing a structure that was era- appropriate to the pristine, fully operational aircraft.
Located in the Texas Hill Country, the site and program presented a unique design intersection – Aviation and Texas Ranching. The Quonset hut, a WWII archetype, provided a form silhouette that mitigated and minimized the buildings impact on the landscape and horizon. Selecting a triangulated wide-flange barrel-vault structural system, connected through a series of knuckles, the building is able achieve longer spans while the dropping curve brings the expansive roof back down to the ground.
The spring line-to-saddlebag connection provides the necessary vertical clearance, as well as further fragmentation of the longest facades, breaking up what would typically be an expansive, uninterrupted face – a feature common of the hangar archetype, and undesired by the client.
The material palette was carefully assembled as an extension of, and to integrate with, the surrounding ranch landscape.
Selecting reclaimed materials that were pre-weathered and ready to handle the climate, and new materials that carry inherit durability were a priority. Allowing for ample natural light, upcycled HVAC, and natural and mechanical ventilation round out this building’s response to Texas’ harsh climate.