this heavy transport maintenance center can accommodate the largest commercial aircraft currently in service
jean-françois schmit architectes has built a building dedicated to the aeronautical maintenance of large aircraft used for air freight by cargolux SA located at findel airport in luxembourg. the volume has become a visible landmark across the country and is designed as an expandable envelope with a main hall capable of accommodating an Airbus A380 – the largest commercial aircraft currently in service. it is made up of segments of shells fitting into each other, like the body of an insect, making it possible to scale between two major functions of the program; the maintenance hall and the office area.
all images courtesy of jean-françois schmit architects
jean-françois schmit architects designed the space with all the more monumental dimensions with two bays allowing it to accommodate two planes simultaneously for maintenance operations. the site is divided into different areas which have been studied in detail; maintenance activities, administrative offices, stores and storage areas as well as parking for employees located outside. its volume, a parallelepiped 200 meters wide by 140 meters deep and 42 meters high, emerges from the forests bordering the southern edge of the Findel airport runways on the Kirchberg plateau.
despite the functional aspect of the program, the building is intended to be a solution to the “shoebox”. the harmonious management of the various flows – company customers, administration, parts stores, offices, workshops, etc. – has been studied in detail. the volume of the main hall informs the configuration. the large metal wave extending along the south facade connects the maintenance hall to the office area and acts as a unifying element, it also serves to “humanize” the installation, visible from the public road bordering the perimeter of the building. ‘airport.
administrative offices and workshops communicate both visually and physically. the circulations lead to the foot of the platform. these two entities sometimes share green patios that bring natural light into the heart of a deep-core building. a podium accommodates the parts stores, which have direct access to the hall and are supplied by an underground interior street operating autonomously.
the flow separation strategy begins at the entrance: visitors and employees enter the building directly at the first floor level, via an annex building integrating the boiler room and the canteen. they reach the reception area after crossing a glazed metal gangway, a key element of the composition inspired by airport passenger boarding bridges. the building also addresses the issue of sustainable development. it has been fitted with reinforced insulation, even on the huge doors closing the hangar.
the maintenance center is built mainly in steel with a structure and an envelope which are not separated but form an integrated whole. the thickness of the beams was used for the installation of sawtooth roofs with a single vertical slope forming large “gills” increasing the bracing of the vertical walls while contributing to the natural lighting of the space and the acoustic comfort because their attitude attenuates reverberation in the workplace.
like many industrial buildings designed by jean-françois schmit architects, the structure is also a technical grid that incorporates overhead cranes for the movement of various loads, such as motors. a Y-column separates the two spans and cuts the span of the beams in the middle of the hall. the cargolux hangar is designed to expand: the master plan designed by jean-françois schmit architects allows the construction of one or even two additional bays. these extensions are dependent on the financial health of the air cargo industry.
Last name: cargolux heavy load maintenance center
architect: JFS architects
location: findel airport, luxembourg
area: 34,000 m² (36 5972.95 ft²)
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edited by: yasmina karam | design boom