NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FLIGHT - CONSERVATION
Location: East Fortune, East Lothian
Client: National Museums Scotland
Programme: Completed 2009
A five-year programme of meticulous conservation of five wartime buildings at the National Museum of Flight.
The former airfield is now a Scheduled Monument, but the buildings were erected rapidly as temporary accommodation during WWII, and their economical construction presented particular conservation challenges. We carried out extensive consultation with Historic Scotland to agree the necessary interventions to adapt the buildings to new uses and secure their future.
The roof timbers were under-sized, causing the roofs to sag. We added new timbers while retaining the originals. There was widespread damp penetration through the single-leaf brick walls, made worse by many of the roofs having been built without gutters. Gutters, distinguishing them from the originals, and improved ground drainage were added around the buildings. This allowed the walls to dry out sufficiently to receive a breathable paint finish internally.
The external render was painstakingly repaired by filling cracks, and only patch repaired when absolutely necessary. Distorted windows were replaced and insulation improved by the addition of internal shutters and roof insulation.
The five buildings are now in full use – three for exhibitions, one for museum artefact storage and one as an education centre.