Description of Historic Place
Hangar 16 is a cantilevered maintenance hangar, which features a large flat roof that curves up at the edges and rests on a three-storey bearing structure in the middle, and it features metal clad facades, few windows and tall metal sliding doors on the north and south sides. Hangar 16 is located on the northern section of Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Winnipeg, an area adjacent to Winnipeg’s civilian airport. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Hangar 16 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Hangar 16 is directly related to the operational mission of the Winnipeg air base and is a very good example of Canada’s international commitment to provide an air division for Europe and to train personnel for the North American Treaty Organisation (NATO). During World War II, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station at Winnipeg grew and became a major base under the Commonwealth Air Training Plan providing training to other allied air forces of the British Commonwealth. The Winnipeg air base continued to grow in importance as a result of the transfer of activities from Summerside Prince Edward Island, additional training requirements for new jet powered airplanes such as the T-33, and the 1950s nationwide program of construction of infrastructure for a permanent military. Constructed in 1955 to support the primary function of the base, Hangar 16 is associated with a significant phase in the base’s development and speaks to the establishment of the military community of CFB Winnipeg North. In addition to providing training and support operations, the Winnipeg air base generates important economic activities for the City of Winnipeg.
Hangar 16 is a good example of a cantilevered maintenance hangar, characterised by a solid and impressive rectangular mass, and a utilitarian interior space with exposed trusses. Designed by the Toronto architectural firm of Margison, Babcock and Associates, it features metal clad facades, a flat roof curving up at the ends, tall sliding doors on two sides, and few windows. As one of the very first examples of a cantilevered maintenance hangar, Hangar 16 demonstrates excellent functional design which is derived from the functional requirements of housing large aircrafts in a great expanse of column-free space and providing offices and workshops in a three-storey load-bearing central core. Hanger 16 was built of durable materials precisely assembled using innovative engineering technology. It is characterised by a very good level of craftsmanship.
Surrounded by airfields and the two arched hangars, Hangar 16 reinforces the character of the area. Hangar 16 is situated on a flat site adjacent to the military access ramp to the Winnipeg Airport, and is surrounded by asphalt on all four sides with a parking lot in front. Despite small changes to its immediate landscaping, the historic relationship between the building and its surroundings is retained. Hangar 16 is a well-known landmark to the community of CFB Winnipeg North.
Sources: Geneviève Charrois, Hangars 10, Hangar 11 and Hangar 16, CFB Winnipeg North, Manitoba, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Report 04-046; Hangar 16, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Heritage Character Statement, 04-046.
The character-defining elements of Hangar 16 should be respected.
Features of the hangar related to the operational role of the Winnipeg air base in providing an air division for Europe and in training air personnel for the North American Treaty Organization:
- its standard cantilevered hangar design; and,
- its continuous use in support of air operations and training.
Its good aesthetic, excellent functional design, and good quality materials and craftsmanship, as manifested in:
- its simple geometric form and impressive rectangular massing;
- the functional appearance of the exterior, with its flat roof curving up at the ends, its metal clad exterior walls in neutral colours, its tall sliding doors at both ends and few windows in the middle portion;
- its simple, rectangular floor plan consisting of enclosed offices and workshops in a central core and along the east side, dividing the building into two large column-free interior spaces for servicing aircrafts;
- its large utilitarian interior made of durable materials and featuring exposed trusses;
- its use of innovative engineering technology for the construction of its reinforced concrete core and cantilevered steel roof structure.
The manner in which the building reinforces the character of the setting as evidenced in:
- its location on a flat site near the military access ramp adjacent to airfields and other hangars.