NAVFAC Pacific


Hangars: Architects Hawaii Ltd. / Control Tower: Mason Architects


Hangars: Kiewit Building Group, Inc.


Ford Island, Hawaii


The Pacific Aviation Museum complex is the adaptive reuse of several historic military hangars and the original control tower of the decommissioned Ford Island Air Field.  Located in the center of Pearl Harbor, the air field was among the strategic targets in the December 7, 1941 attack.  The project is being funded primarily through charitable contributions requiring it to be will be developed in four phases as follows:  Phase I: Hangar 37 (43,000 SF); Phase II: Hangar 79 (86,000 SF); Phase III: Hangar 54 (76,000 SF); and Phase IV: Control Tower (9,000 SF).

Phase I included $6 million of renovation work to Aircraft Hangar 37 which houses state-of-the-art exhibits and is comprised of a visitor welcome atrium, theater, mechanical and electrical systems, concession area and restrooms. The new facilities in Phase I included a series of mezzanines constructed within the existing hangar, consisting of metal deck with concrete topping supported on structural steel framing. Because the mezzanines will be new standalone structures, lateral bracing is required to resist seismic inertia forces that can occur due to ground shaking in an earthquake.

The 158-foot control tower located at Building S-84 was completed in 1942.  In the decades since, the structure suffered from significant rust and deterioration.  It is considered a Category 1 structure and is one of the most important visual landmarks in the Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark.  Because of its historical significance, a project to stabilize and repair the exterior of the control tower began.  The building consists of a two-story reinforced concrete building with the main control tower and an adjacent smaller aerological tower extending above the roof of the concrete structure.  Both the control and aerologial towers had significant steel corrosion and the supports and platforms for both structures were unstable due to the extensive corrosion.  The primary structural work included repairing or replacing the tank connections, decking, stairs, and other steel elements. Work also included repair of cracked/spalled concrete walls and repair of concrete slabs on both towers.  

The Science and Design of Structural Engineering

The team relied on BASE and its extensive experience with the Navy to address programming issues related to seismic, hurricane and AT/FP upgrades for the existing historic hangars.  For the control tower, BASE was tasked to assess the existing condition of the damaged control tower and provide methods of repair and retrofit.  To assess the chemical composition and weldability of the older steel members, BASE required testing of steel coupons cut from the existing tower.  Procedures were developed appropriate for welding new steel material to the existing tower.  

Client Benefits

The project team was able to complete the project on-time and within budget, despite an accelerated schedule requirement due to a firm deadline and multiple client-related delays.  Phase I of the project was completed in only nine months.