MOTAT Aviation Display Hall

  • arts + culture
  • civic + education
  • award-winning

Museum of Transport and Technology

Auckland

2011

New Zealand Commercial Project Awards Gold Award, 2013

NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award for Sustainable Architecture, 2012

BEST Gold Award for Sustainability, 2012

BEST Gold Award for Public & Institutional Building, 2012

NZIA Auckland Architecture Award for Public Architecture, 2011

NZIA Auckland Architecture Award for Sustainable Architecture, 2011

NZ Wood Timber Design Award for Sustainability, 2011

NZ Wood Timber Design Award for Clever Wood Solutions, 2011

NZ Wood Timber Design Award, Highly Commended for Commercial Engineering Excellence, 2011


The Aviation Display Hall is a major new museum facility for MOTAT’s collection of historic aircraft. Its exhibition space, designed in collaboration with exhibition designers Freeman Ryan, offers an international quality museum experience of the history of New Zealand aviation.

At over 3000m2, the new building has ample space to accommodate the aircraft and is located on a closed landfill, meaning that it is effectively built on recycled land. Using the unique capabilities of massive LVL (laminated veneered lumber) portal frames, it spans 42 metres, encompassing the great wingspan of the aircraft. The design is a timber interpretation of the hangar form, wrapping meaningful interior spaces within an exterior that provides visual expression and interest from the street. The Display Hall is also designed to function as an education area, incorporating reception areas for students, classroom provision and provision for other specific student needs.

From the outset, sustainable design measures have been an integral part of the overall design approach. The building utilises a ventilation strategy that favours natural ventilation in conjunction with a ‘heat chimney’ on the north of the building and requires only a low provision of mechanical heating. Glazing to specific areas of gallery space also maximises natural light where appropriate.

The design is a timber interpretation of the hangar form, wrapping meaningful interior spaces within an exterior that provides visual expression and interest from the street.

New Zealand Commercial Project Awards Gold Award, 2013

NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award for Sustainable Architecture, 2012

BEST Gold Award for Sustainability, 2012

BEST Gold Award for Public & Institutional Building, 2012

NZIA Auckland Architecture Award for Public Architecture, 2011

NZIA Auckland Architecture Award for Sustainable Architecture, 2011

NZ Wood Timber Design Award for Sustainability, 2011

NZ Wood Timber Design Award for Clever Wood Solutions, 2011

NZ Wood Timber Design Award, Highly Commended for Commercial Engineering Excellence, 2011

The design is a timber interpretation of the hangar form, wrapping meaningful interior spaces within an exterior that provides visual expression and interest from the street.