To increase public access and inspire the next generation of pilots and explorers, the Air Force Flight Test Foundation is relocating the Flight Test Museum outside the gates of Edwards Air Force Base. As part of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts, Gensler developed a conceptual design for the future of the Flight Test Museum and STEM Center that aims to preserve the rich history of Antelope Valley while connecting it to a new generation.
The museum design vision marries the rectangular shape of an airplane hangar with the dynamic geometry of a Nighthawk aircraft. The angular roof element funnels down to the ground-floor entrance, which helps guide museum visitors to the main lobby. The linear sequence throughout the space leverages the 60,000-square-foot hangar and will add 15,000 square feet of multifaceted programming for a welcome lounge, gallery space, classrooms, library, and gift shop. A branded bar, “Pancho Barnes Happy Bottom Riding Club Bar,” will pay homage to Florence Lowe “Pancho” Barnes, the legendary female aviator who founded the first movie stunt pilots’ union.