NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FLIGHT - EXHIBITION
Location: East Fortune, East Lothian
Client: National Museums Scotland
Programme: Completed 2009
The former First and Second World War airfield at East Fortune is now a Scheduled Monument and since 1975 has housed the National Museum of Flight. Over a period of five years, we have restored and altered five buildings to bring them into public use as exhibition spaces.
In addition to accommodating the exhibitions, the buildings are important exhibits themselves. Working closely with Historic Scotland, we conserved and restored them while making the necessary alterations to create high-quality, fully‑accessible visitor attractions.
The Museum’s centrepiece is Concorde, and we adapted Hangar 1 on a short programme, in time for its much publicised arrival. The key was eliminating a bottleneck in the visitor flow by altering the historic fabric of the hangar.
Elsewhere across the airfield, we restored a brick‑built former workshop for ‘Fantastic Flight’, a science-based hands-on interactive exhibition which makes good use of the building’s airy spaces. The more intimate spaces of a Nissen hut, which was substantially rebuilt and altered internally, suit the more contemplative ‘Fortunes of War’ exhibition. Another makes an education centre where modern facilities for school groups are mixed with historic features. Most recently, we restored an unusually shaped parachute store to create an exhibition of parachuting.
The buildings and their contents now make an exciting and educational day out.