200m2 clear span semi monocoque building
steel portals, cladding with polycarbonate daylighting
concrete floor, Hebel curved end wall.
The gliding club at Monarto has developed a museum. Emilis provided the
inspiration for form and detail which influenced the brief.
Because this activity is not 'core business' for the amateur club, capital
cost containment was a key issue. Using standard off-the-shelf parts,
the ability to erect on-site with few personnel and even less machinery
were all important considerations.
The site was a disused quarry. This was tidied up, old stone buried, new embankments squared up and a level base created. The site subsequently is undergoing intense revegetation.
A curved standard portal frame was procured. These are usually used
for plastic fabric covered greenhouses. In this case the cladding was
pre-curved steel sheet sourced from tank making. The portal frames
could be erected by one person with props, and the sheets slid into
place by 3 people, and Tek screwed into place.
The end wall was built in autoclave aerated concrete blockwork, glued together in place. To give stability, the wall was laid out a curved form in 2 interlocking quarter circles. This buttressed the wall in its own form without further bond beam, buttress, or reinforcing. The belief that AAC is crack prone was dealt with by building this infill wall on a stable sand bed rather than a footing.
Where the wall and roof curves meet, very comforting space form
is created; and many visitors have commented on how pleasant
the interior is.
As the building is designated for daytime use only, it has no facilities and thus no services, daytime lighting was the critical issue.
The design has the portals set on the bench on its northern side, and
on top of the embankment on the south side.
The main curved roof extends from near ground level on the north side to a slight eave overhang over the southern glazing.
Further general daylight was thought to be desirable. Thus 4 rows of tinted polycarbonate roof sheet were introduced as part of the curved roof form. The position of the curved translucent sheets was dictated by the internal display layout rather than to be symettrical or uniform externally.
These daylight sheets do permit direct heat load into the building, which the dark grey of the tint moderates about half. As temperature control was not a priority issue in this building, this solution was accepted for its simplicity and cost effectiveness. Some modification is created by vents set in the western wall, and exhaust paths by the eastern accesses.
The largest cost item was the 170m2 of concrete floor laid in one operation once the walls were created and before the roof went on.
Access to the building is on the eastern end with a PA door, and an occassional swing door which allows entry and exit for an 8 metre long mobile display trailer housed as part of the display. The internal display area created is large enough for several full airframes plus partial airframes and smaller display items from 1924 onward.