A new home for Concorde
Bristol’s Filton Airfield has played a remarkable role in the story of aviation. Aerospace engineering began there just seven years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight and has continued there to this day. From the fighter planes of World War One to the almighty Concorde, Filton has witnessed the best of British innovation for more than a century. Today, it is home to industry giants including Rolls-Royce, Airbus and BAE Systems who carry on its pioneering spirit and continue to fuel the UK economy.
In 2014, we began working with the Bristol Aero Collections Trust on a new, world-class museum at Filton. The museum, built within an original World War One hangar and a new, state-of-the-art home for Concorde, takes visitors on a journey through aviation history. Our vision was simple yet powerful: to celebrate feats of science, technology and engineering and to inspire future generations.
Bringing to life 100 years of engineering excellence
The museum’s statement piece is Concorde. Designed and built at Filton in 1969, this modern masterpiece and symbol of engineering ingenuity is displayed in all its glory in a new, purpose-built hangar. Big statement media installations, immersive sounds and 3D projection mapping use the plane as a canvas for its own story – from the drawing board to supersonic flight. Cutting-edge interactives examine the engine’s technological brilliance and simulators put you behind the cockpit controls.
Set within an original World War One hangar, the bulk of the museum’s aircraft are displayed as if in mid-flight. They begin to take on a life of their own. Sound rumbles around the space. Lights add energy, drama and a blaze of movement. Cleverly designed vistas give the illusion that a plane is there one second, gone the next.
Celebrating and discovering new skills
The museum is as much about the people as the planes. Large aircraft installations are balanced with intimate moments focusing on the people who built them. Our design and interpretation draws on Filton’s rich and nationally significant archives to spotlight the masterminds who have pushed British engineering forward.
Expertly designed, hands-on interactives and practical science experiments break down complex concepts and put visitors’ skills to the test – how do jet engines work? How does a plane fly? What happens when a plane breaks the sound barrier? The interactives are designed to inspire younger audiences to think about a career in STEM.
Bristol Aero Collections Trust