The RAF Museum / Bridgnorth Council

RAF Cosford, Shropshire

Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Structural Engineer: Michael Barclay Partnership
Principal Contractor: Galliford Try

RAF Cosford National Cold War Collection

RAF Cosford houses the world’s first exhibition dedicated to documenting the period of the Cold War. To fulfil the need to house the collection architects Feilden Clegg Bradley created a dramatic new enclosure which holds 17 aircraft, missiles and vehicles relating to this period of history. The humidity-controlled environment allowed the tubular structural steel frame to be installed without the need for any protective treatment giving the enclosure the cold industrial feel the architect wanted to achieve. To ensure there was no risk of visitors brushing against the columns as they came in to the floor slab the lower two metres were treated with a clear protective lacquer.

SH Structures supplied, manufactured and installed the new steel structure, working closely with the team to develop an efficient structure that would be safe to install. Rather than utilize welded connections in the various trusses SH Structure proposed the use of simple pipe flange type bolted connections an initiative brought costs benefits and also eliminated the need for any ‘hot works’ on site. It would have been easy for the designers to simply build a traditional hangar to house the exhibition but the scheme not only provides a home to a fantastic collection but does it within a structure that adds to the drama of the exhibition. The project has been a great success and secured SH Structures a prestigious European Steel Design Award