Description of Historic Place
10 Hangar is a double-cantilevered structure of colossal proportions, consisting of steel armatures, spanning out 46 metres (150 feet) on either side of a two-storey central core, which act as a concrete counterweight. A major design feature are the red painted trusses cantilevered above the roof to form butterfly wings that contrast with the neutral walls below. Located at the edge of the main runway, the hangar dominates the landscape. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
10 Hangar is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
10 Hangar was purposely designed and built to service the CC-106 Yukon plane (Canadair CL-44-6), the backbone of air transport for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), as well as other aircraft used for regular trans-Atlantic transport of equipment and troops. As such, it illustrates the expansion of the military during the Cold War era to meet international treaty commitments, such as to NORAD and NATO, and is directly related with many of the major Canadian Forces operations of the time. The building consolidated the role of Trenton as a major military air transport hub during the Cold War era and is a very good example of the build-up of the base during this period.
Through its enormous size, clean and crisp modern industrial aesthetic, striking engineering and unique form, 10 Hangar is a very good example of progressive functionalist design based on specific programmatic requirements. Designed by the renowned firm of Ross, Fish, Duschenes and Barrett, this double-cantilevered hangar is the first example of its kind in the Canadian military and a rare surviving witness of an innovative building system and of the experimental use of exposed exterior trusses. Its modular construction also allowed for eventual expansion of the structure to respond to evolving needs, contributing to 10 Hangar’s highly functional design.
Because of its striking design and overwhelming size, 10 Hangar dominates its site, reinforces the present character of its military airfield setting and acts as a familiar landmark to the community of the base. Its relationship with its open site has remained unchanged.
Sources: Andrew Waldron, 10 Hangar (Building 52), 52 North Star Drive, 8 Wing, Construction Engineering Squadron, CFB Trenton, Astra, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Report 03-034; 10 Hangar (Building 52), 8 Wing, CFB Trenton, Quinte West, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 03-034.
The character-defining elements of 10 Hangar should be respected.
Its role as an illustration of the Cold War build-up of Canada’s Armed Forces to meet its commitments to international military preparedness and the deployment of personnel to international destinations for overseas operations, as reflected in:
- the innovative long-span butterfly-truss design, a sophisticated engineering solution that successfully accommodates large-scale functional requirements by creating a vast interior space suitable for housing and servicing ever-growing aircraft.
Its modern industrial aesthetic, functionally progressive design, competent craftsmanship and standard good quality materials, as manifested in:
- its composition as a simple, clear and unadorned juxtaposition of abstract geometrical forms, namely two parallel rows of hangar spaces and central service and office core which are strongly expressive of the building’s function and structural logic;
- the exposed butterfly truss structure above the roof line, the strongest and most expressive feature of the design, which is emphasized by its red colour and whose lightness contrasts with the solid, neutral mass of the base;
- the narrow ribbon windows of the side elevations which emphasize the building’s strong horizontal and industrial expression;
- the use of standard and effective materials, such as steel, concrete block, and asphalt roofing which contribute to the expressiveness of the design;
- the repetitive, modular nature of the building, which would have allowed for its expansion following evolving needs;
- the crisp, sharp and simple detailing.
The manner in which the building reinforces the character of the central operational area of the base as a military airfield, its relationship to the site and role as a familiar landmark on the base, as evidenced by:
- the prominence of 10 Hangar due to its huge size, striking design and location along the main runway;
- the building’s open relationship to the area around it.