Qantas Founders Museum
Part of the brief for the creation of this museum was to capture the tale of the founders of Qantas who were forced to overcome the harsh Queensland environment and remote location to establish the Qantas in existence today. The result is a stunning silver building rising from the hot red earth at Longreach airport, Queensland.
Due to the harsh and unforgiving terrain found at parts of Longreach and the long distance from other highly populated regions, a significant component of this project design was to ensure that we could provide the best sun protection and shade from the hot environment, and to ensure that we made the best use of water resources, which are scarce in this remote location.
The museum had to also operate as a commercially viable project so the balance between innovation and sustainability, and commercial success and aesthetics was a challenge that we successfully met.
This next phase of the Museum will preserve these historical aircraft in perpetuity and dramatically heighten the visitor experience, expanding Central Western Queensland tourism, driving regional growth and employment.
Many options for protecting these aircraft have been studied over the past 15 years by the NRA Collaborative and the Museum’s Board, including sculptured tension structures and light weight steel structures.
The Museum’s Board was also impressed with Sydney’s Vivid lightshow and is examining the incorporation of a light and sound show in a “ son et lumière” which would celebrate the outback pioneering spirit in the context of aviation history, and provide a spectacular additional visual attraction for the region.
The initial concept includes an elegant structure as an expansion of the existing museum and heritage-listed original Qantas hangar, with the structure incorporating an elevator and spiral ramp, with viewing platforms permitting the exploration of the aircraft and allowing visitors to have an internal and external encounter with the artefacts. The spiral ramp is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum design. The underside of the structure and the aircraft would provide a canvas for the son et lumiere.
The NRA Collaborative is excited to see how this concept develops in 2018.