The Old Stick & Rudder Company was established by a group of dedicated aviation enthusiasts who wish to see New Zealand’s aviation heritage preserved for future generations. Headquartered in Hangar 14 at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton, this modern 15,000 sq. ft. purpose-built hangar was named in honour of 14 Squadron RNZAF (formally based at Hood). The company mission is to restore, preserve and maintain these classic aircraft and to offer visitors the chance to view them, learn about them and fly in them.
Hangar 14 is not a typical aviation museum; here you can smell the Av Gas and watch the mechanics at work. At the same time you can read about the history of each aircraft, as well as view static displays featuring weapons, uniforms and vehicles of the era.
This facility is the perfect location for a corporate hospitality event for up to 500 people. In addition, the hard apron adjoining the hangar is utilised as an area for outdoor stage events or product displays.
The Old Stick & Rudder Company wanted to enhance the visual experience of visiting Hangar 14, evoking emotions based on viewing vintage aircraft at close range as well as providing a multi-functional space for mechanical servicing, a static display and an events centre for up to 500 people.
- The lighting solution should be energy-efficient and easy to maintain, with the fixtures having a minimal physical impact on the displays.
- There should be an efficient route for ducting electrical cables to the light fittings, due to the sheer physical size of the Hangar.
- The Apron and adjoining facade is sufficiently lit for evening events, emphasising signage.
Lighting design principles were set up from the beginning stage of the design process, and adhered to strictly:
- Creation of an enveloping flood effect for the ceiling area to replicate a bright sky environment.
- A dimmable wall flood effect for the perimeter backdrop that expands the ‘sky’ into a three dimensional perspective.
- Direct spot lighting to highlight aircraft and establish an impression of depth by the creation of shadows.
- Lighting the adjoining apron as part of the overall experience inviting the visitors outdoors.
The overriding consideration was lighting control. To provide the desired flexibility we used a Dynalite system with 32 control channels that were installed to control a combination of halogen and discharge light fittings. Eight pre-set lighting scenes were set up to provide calculated lighting levels to cater for displaying the aircraft, corporate entertainment and special occasions.
The lighting control system has been directly interfaced to the audio visual control system to enable the seamless control of both lighting states and the various components of the audio visual system. A mobile control panel allows the lighting effect to be altered from any point within the hangar at the touch of a button.
The interior lighting solution was based on three tiers of light to fill the huge volume of the Hangar.
Tier One: Uplighting The Ceiling
10 x 250w 4000k metal halide flood fixtures were attached to the structural beams along the walls by way of a special adaptive bracket. This uplighting tier fills the Hangar with a wash of light, which is a superb analogy to the sky being brighter than the surroundings. The light level achieved at ground level is 40 lux. In addition, there is a generous contribution of daylight through the continuous windows.
Tier Two: Perimeter Wall Washing
As part of the overall theme, the client painted three perimeter walls with a cloudy sky mural. We evenly washed the walls with 200w 3000k halogen floodlights complete with barndoors. These 26 lights are also attached to the structural beam. They are dimmable to enliven and enrich the theme in accordance with the event and museum aspect.
Tier Three: Spotlighting
To highlight the aircraft and create a depth of contrast for display and event purposes, we utilised 80 x Aureol 12v 50w projectors mounted on 120m of 3 circuit light track attached to the structural beam. The resulting effect can be controlled by the Dynalite system, with pre-set scenes available depending on the event. The versatility of the track concept allows for specialist accessories and equipment to be added as required.
Lighting the exterior required a similar approach. The apron entrance to the hangar is an integral aspect of the overall look and is used as an extension to the event experience. By positioning three 12v halogen spots to project onto the signage and flanking the sliding doors with inground uplighting, a sharp visual effect is created that gives a sense of vitality to the surroundings and ensures the interior and exterior are successfully connected. By utilising 3000k colour temperatures, there is a contrast to the bright ceiling in the interior when the doors are open.
The periphery of the apron has a series of inground ‘beacon’ lights that relate to the spirit of aviation. The three circuits of the exterior lighting are independently controlled, and can be used concurrently or separately.
The placement of the uplighters, wall washers and 3 circuit track power entries (being strategically located in the same proximity) allow for an exceptionally functional wiring path via a building detail that runs along each wall just below the window line. The luminaires are all coloured silver to match the colour of the structural beams. The lights do not protrude into the volumous space and therefore have a minimal physical impact.
As a direct result of natural light, intelligent circuiting, dimming and scene-setting, the client is only using the required lighting as appropriate for the purpose. An added benefit is that lamp changes are optimised and therefore the overall efficiency of this design is of the highest calibre.
The Old Stick & Rudder Hangar is much more than a garage for vintage aircraft.
By employing a controlled lighting system that caters to the changing needs of a working environment, Hangar 14 has become simultaneously a museum, a workshop and an events facility, each option able to be independently utilised at the flick of a switch. Visual impact has been created and reinforced through selective lighting, focusing attention on both aircraft and backdrop to produce a truly dramatic effect.