Van Nuys Airport, CA

12,000 SF

Phase 1 of Maguire’s multi-phased Fixed Base Operator Development is the largest component of the project, both in square footage and in mass.

Hangar buildings are generally fairly mundane PEMB structures, delivered by certified dealers and contractors. Maguire’s wish was to enhance this experience not just in service to their clients but also visually and to the community. “We, as the developer, wanted to make a dramatic statement with the exterior of the building to create a vibrant and memorable presence at the airport,” said Robin Maguire of Maguire Investments. “Our goal was to set a new standard for aviation architecture. This was a new arena for us, so we needed to come out of the box with a winner.

The major design constraint was to create architecture utilizing the PEMB system without adding cost. The architect decided early on that the PEMB system of girders, beams and struts would be left untouched. To enhance it aesthetically, the design team was inspired by the patterns of agricultural land usage that one views as they fly over large portions of the country - the half regular, half random patchiness - and decided to utilize this as a method by which to express the architecture through simple patterning of different colored standard PEMB metal panels. Blue was chosen for two reasons, a Maguire favorite and the obvious reference to the sky. Alternating window perforations generate an exciting, if simple, pattern across the expansive sides of the building, appearing to playfully slice the structure jaggedly in half.