The Challenge:

Bristol Aero Collection Trust wanted to both celebrate the part the city had played in Britain's aviation history and to inspire the next generation about science and engineering with this project. To achieve this they wanted both a new hangar to house the Concorde 216 – BOAF, the last Concorde ever to take to the sky, and the restoration of a Grade 1 listed building featuring a large exhibition space fully restored to its original condition and a learning centre with facilities to deliver learning programmes.

Exhibition areas telling the story of Concorde, a 200 seat lecture theatre, mezzanine walkway offering superb view of the plane , catering facilities and a fireproof archive were also required for the new hangar. Months of planning were also required for moving the aircraft, which was never designed to be manoeuvred into a position with a 10mm tolerance.

The Solution:

The delivery of this facility was achieved through collaborative working between client and contractor, creative design and a vision to succeed. Work on the Grade II Listed hangar 16S included the restoration of the Belfast trusses, which create wonderful spans over the new exhibition space. The restored and cleaned brickwork breaks up the large exhibition spaces and the thermal envelope was upgraded with a new high-performance roofing system. The hangar's amenity block was sustainably designed using a lightweight structural timber frame and the inclusion of a demountable external façade also the Trust to mount larger exhibits in the future.

The team responded to client needs including developing a fundraising plan and providing a more affordable solution in collaboration with structural engineers Hydrock and M&E contractor Totus.

The Impact:

Bristol now has an amazing facility to showcase its role in aviation history and inspire young people to work in science and engineering. It is already attracting visitors from far and wide. Concorde 216 – BOAF had sat on an airfield for many years while funding took place and now has pride of place in the new hangar. Visitors can also enjoy the facilities of a large cafeteria and retail space.

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