Timber Arch Sets Record for Size

28 November 2023

On its completion in early 2025, Studio Pacific Architecture’s new flagship hangar for Air New Zealand — Hangar 4 in Auckland — will be the largest single-span timber arch aircraft hangar in the southern hemisphere. At one and a half times the size of the airline’s largest existing hangar, it will be able to house one wide-bodied aircraft, such as a Boeing 777-300 or 787-9, as well as two narrow-bodied aircraft, such as an A320 or an A321neo, at the same time.

The laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and cross-laminated timber (CLT) hybrid timber arch, designed in association with structural engineer Alistair Cattanach of Dunning Thornton, spans 98 metres and has a low total structure mass, making it considerably easier and more efficient to put together on site than a similarly sized steel structure would be.

Lead architect Patrick Thompson says the arch geometry also resulted in an increased net-useable floor area in the hangar, which will provide for internal storage of equipment and aircraft planning offices. Specialist services to the planes will be delivered underground to service pits.

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