RAF Museum Hendon

Revitalisation of the historic Hendon airfield site, creating inclusive and inspirational exhibition and outdoor spaces for the RAF Museum to mark 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

The Royal Air Force opened its award-winning museum in 1968 to mark its 50th anniversary. To commemorate the Royal Air Force’s centenary, the museum was renovated and revitalised, tranforming it into a state-of-the-art contemporary exhibition experience.

Building on existing community relationships, the museum needed a dedicated learning centre for hosting education visits, a free-access play and picnic area and flexible function rooms.

Ridge was appointed as Project Managers to deliver a masterplan to create a greener setting for the museum buildings and was involved with the various stages of planning and reporting throughout the project.

  • 100 years

    Centenary celebration of the Royal Air Force

  • £13 million

    Project value

  • 500,000

    Visitors per year

  • Shortlisted

    For the RICS Tourism & Leisure Award, London, 2018

The new buildings and masterplan bring a much-needed coherence to the site, and offer new spaces that enhance visitor experience while providing additional security protection to site.

The scheme includes a 170-seat restaurant in a derelict 1930’s building and many of its original features have been maintained, in consideration of its Listed curtilage. Significant works to the 1970’s Hangar 1 create a space to maximise the planned exhibitions, and to provide a prominent new entrance and visitor centre which will act as a welcome and orientation point. Works were completed with an 85-foot Sunderland sea plane left in-situ, too fragile and large to be moved. The exhibit has created a unique exhibition and events hall, with no damage to the plane throughout the refurbishment. Outside, the scheme offers nearly 3 acres of landscaped, public, external amenity space.

The project was carefully planned to ensure that the museum activities were not impacted by the construction activities on the site. This was achieved through considered logistics planning and phased handover of areas.

The new site has proved hugely popular with local visitors and tourists alike since opening in 2018.