World War II Exhibit Hall | Paris-Le Bourget Air and Space Museum
program: new hangar and exhibit design to present the Museum’s collection of WWII aircraft.
client: Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace
structural steel consultant: Jean-Christophe Grosso
structural engineer: STEBAT
size: 18,655 sq. ft.
construction cost: 1,432,000.00 €
delivery: June 2015
The architecture of the new exhibit hall takes its inspiration from the construction techniques of the famous World War Two “warbirds.” The structure combines an open frame semi-articulated Cor-ten steel assembly with a secondary armature of glue-lam wood struts covered with a corrugated steel envelope. Together with the engineers, the amount of structural material was reduced to the minimum to ensure an open volume that puts primary emphasis on lightness.
The glass facade looking out to the airport runways is sheltered by 21 cassettes acting as sunscreens, their design evoking the flaps deployed by a landing plane. This transparent facade allows the exhibit hall to benefit from significant natural lighting and opens a dramatic perspective onto the runway of the Bourget Airport, putting in direct relationship the airplanes of today and these legendary aircraft that fought in the skies over Europe during WWII.