QANTAS Founders Museum Longreach Airpark Project

The Museum consisting of an 8000 sqm floating roof preserves the historical aircraft in perpetuity and dramatically heightens 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 Noel Robinson Architects and the Museum’s Board, which included sculptured tension membrane structures and light weight steel structures, the latter being decided on for the final form.

The Museum’s Board was also impressed with the opportunity to develop a world class light show called Luminescence which took the visitor experience into the evening and is examining the incorporation of a light and sound show in a “sonet lumière” which would celebrate the outback pioneering spirit in the context of aviation history, and provide a spectacular additional visual attraction for the region while extending the visitor experience by one more day.

The initial concept includes an elegant structure as an expansion of the existing museum and heritage-listed original Qantas hangar,  with the experiential 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 which is yet to be realised was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum design. The underside of the structure and the aircraft provide a canvas for the world class “son et Lumiere”.

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