This stunning facility has ensured that the Canada Aviation Museum's aircraft are protected from the elements, which, at the time of the project completion, was the first time in 39 years. In addition to put seven aircraft on display indoors, the new space enabled the museum to take others out of storage, bring home those on loan and make new acquisitions.
The new building was constructed to the very specific requirements of the National Capital Commission and Transport Canada, the latter because it is on the site of the Rockcliffe Airport, which is used for recreational aircraft and flight instruction. As is customary with projects located on such sites, all construction site personnel had to have prior security clearance.
Pomerleau coordinated both the design team and the construction team in the fast-track process that also involved adding a new two-storey wing to an existing building to house the administration, library and archives.
The concept was developed and the construction methods selected to integrate numerous elements that meet LEED® requirements. In addition, two Environmental Site Assessments were conducted prior to the start of the work. Soil analyses showed no trace of contamination.
The new 8,370-m2 building's bold architecture features a metal-clad rounded roof and slanted exterior walls. Three of these walls are clad in galvanized corrugated steel while the fourth features a 15-m high architectural curtain wall on a 30-degree slant. Its 1,850-t steel structure includes two 55-t transverse beams and rests on 75 piles, each 65 m deep. The 50-m long interior beams have a 3-m core. To provide sufficient space to display and move aircraft, the building has a 130 m by 60 m clear span and a clearance of 17 m. Two 50-m lateral sliding doors allow aircraft to be moved in and out.