A Creative Solution to a BIG Problem

Aviation Pavilion

Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight asked us to design an economical structure that would protect 20 extremely large aircraft from the elements, provide visitors with an enjoyable year-round experience and be in keeping with the design of other buildings on the campus. The building allows even the smallest enthusiast to experience the history and wonder of the Museum’s collection of large passenger and military aircraft. Exhibited planes include the iconic Boeing 747 and 787 prototypes, Air Force One, The Concorde, and other historic military and commercial aircraft.


135,000 sf


Seattle, WA

Year Complete


Open Air

The open-air structure is 460′ by 340′, featuring no interior columns, which would have inhibited display of the aircraft. The 135,000 square foot roof supported by steel columns and brace frames, with a twelve-inch concrete slab below.

Expanding The Museum of Flight Campus

The building connects the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery and the Raisbeck Aviation High School on the Museum’s west campus. Six rows of skylights distribute even natural light and prevent glare and silhouetting in the open-air facility. The design supports the potential to enclose the building in the future.

Prepared for the Weather

The roof covers more than three acres. With this large span it is inevitable that weather will enter the building below the 64-foot-tall roof. We designed the concrete floor to be slip-resistant and easily cleanable and to promote draining, all while supporting the Museum’s desire to enclose the space in the future. Select wall construction contingencies were provided and we are listening to Museum feedback about rain penetration to ensure a world-class visitor experience.