The Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Racetrack Revival Project

Structural Designer

Alan Baxter Ltd

Client Name

Brooklands Museum

Location

Weybridge, United Kingdom

ARCHITECT
Thomas Ford & Partners

MAIN CONTRACTOR
Brymor Construction Ltd

STEELWORK SUBCONTRACTOR
Ainscough Industrial Services Ltd

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The relocation of the Grade II listed, World War II aircraft hangar known as the “Bellman Hangar,” the construction of a new hangar known as the “Flight Shed” and the repair and reinstatement of the original finishing straight. The Bellman Hangar was disassembled, refurbished and re-erected in a different location, using almost all the original steelwork and featuring strengthening works to extend its life. The project aimed to bring back the essence of the original racetrack and to create a new state of the art exhibition celebrating the history of engineering and aircraft manufacturing.

Judge's comment:

The judges found this ‘reshuffling’ project to be very exciting, with its blend of race-track restoration, historic Bellman Hanger aircraft factory relocation and refurbishment, and integration of new aircraft museum structures.

An elegant approach was adopted in the restoration of the relocated Bellman Hangar into an exhibition space, minimising interventions where possible. The hangar was reassembled using traditional simple methods and completed in just 500 hours by a team of 12 people. The judges particularly enjoyed the use of colour to distinguish between new and original structural members - it is whimsical, educational and bold.

It is evident that the engineers considered the structures in great detail to determine the best approach possible for the restoration, ensuring a key heritage aspect whilst also creatively balancing new and old requirements to produce new spaces with excellent value.