A landmark of the aeronautical adventure, the Montaudran site has left a strong mark on the landscape and in our memories. The new exhibition hall, conceived to house gigantic mechanic creations, is therefore a study of the transmission and cultural identity. In front of the old runway, the Hall develops in streamlined volumes, the height of the spans and the receding lines of the roof creating a sensation of flying and reminding us of the historical dialogue between architecture and aviation. The ground plane is based on a noticeably irregular outline, which delineates four vessels, parallel to the runway and with a mezzanine on top to the east. The exhibition aisles are characterised by the very small base of the filigree structure’s columns: this vast, free plan, ideal for the creation and exhibition of machines, encourages contemplation and perambulation. To this effect, the structure’s clear expression is highlighted by the tight rhythm of the wooden trusses and the bolted joints which make the relationship between load and support explicit. The elegance and the technical nature of the structure thus echo the spectacle of monumental machines. This link between the envelope and its content is also reminiscent of the aeroplane assembly halls, whose audacity marked France between the wars. This direct heritage is further reinforced by the installation of shed windows running between the faults in the roof, and the creation of raw mineral flooring.
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