National Cold War Exhibition, RAF Cosford Museum, UK

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Date Built
RAF Cosford, Shropshire
This striking building is an imposing presence on the RAF Cosford Museum site.  It is home to the National Cold War Exhibition and houses an impressive collection of aircraft and military vehicles arranged around and suspended above the multi-media exhibits. The architects explain that their design, " ... gives physical expression to the two opposing forces locked in the Cold War. Two curvilinear triangular volumes are forced 30 metres up out of the ground creating a 130 metre long ‘fault line’ along their adjoining edges with the metaphor continued in the twisted plane geometry of the roof. The display hall is split onto two levels with high level viewing access to provide multiple views of the museum’s collection. ...

 ... The industrial aesthetic of the interior is one of stark contrasts: dark structural steel supports bright galvanized decking while daylight entering via a continuous strip of rooflights along the central spine provides a constantly changing dynamic of lights and darks. The ancillary facilities, including an auditorium and classrooms, are buried in the ground below ... ".

The museum's website adds that the, "Exhibition highlights the ideologies of both sides, the social history of the era, the technological achievements which evolved from the competition between East and West and the eventual dissolution of the Warsaw Pact resulting in the world we live in today.  The story of the Cold War is therefore much larger than one of aviation alone; this national exhibition aims to inform and educate present and future generations about the immense threat posed to world peace and security during this significant period of the 20th century."