Military architecture has been in existence for centuries, ever since one needed to engage in a competition for territory. It observes and tries to predict developments in strategy and weaponry. Designs and ideas developed for the armed forces further benefit in solving the regular civilian problems. Thus, there is always room for innovation and experimentation while working for serving the needs of the military. The architecture has its elements and specifications which then further addresses the universal design and clarity of the space composition system. Each function of the building is harmonically projected in its space. Each project is a new challenge for architects to broaden their expertise beyond.

Here are 15 examples of Military Architecture:

1. Air Force Academy Chapel

The United States Air Force Academy Chapel (USAFA) by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, completed in 1962, north of Colorado Springs. The structure consists of a tubular steel frame of 100 identical tetrahedrons. Each tetrahedron is 75′-0″ long, weighs five tons, and is enclosed with clear aluminum panels. They consist of six-inch tubes with four-inch secondary cross-braces, manufactured in Missouri. Each tetrahedron is spaced a foot apart, which creates gaps in the framework that are filled with one-inch thick colored glass designed in Chartres, France.

Air Force Academy Chapel
Air Force Academy Chapel ©net

2. S Air force academy, Colorado

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill completed a replacement building on the grounds of the US Air Force Academy in Colorado, featuring a glass skylight resembling the tail fin of a jet fighter that points towards the North Star. The skylight provides ample natural light for the Honour Board Room below.

Classrooms and offices go around two courtyards, increasing exterior views and decreasing the need for artificial lighting. The building’s sustainable elements have earned it LEED®-NC Gold certification.

S Air force academy, Colorado
U.S Air Force Academy ©www.som.com

3. 3D Printed barracks

The US Armed Forces have 3D printed a barracks out of concrete on-site at an army base, in less than two days. The United States Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) constructed the 46-square-meter building in 40 hours at the United States Army Engineer Research and Development Centre in Champaign, Illinois. The process could be reduced to one day with the help of a robot to do the mixing and pumping. Usually, to construct a barracks manually out of wood would pause marines five days. The project was a field test to evaluate the potential of 3D-printed construction.

3D Printed barracks
3D Printed Barracks ©static.dezeen.com

4. Colonel Nesmith Readiness Centre

The US Armed Forces have 3D printed a barracks out of concrete on-site at an army base, in less than two days. The United States Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) constructed the 46-square-meter building in 40 hours at the United States Army Engineer Research and Development Centre in Champaign, Illinois. The process could be reduced to one day with the help of a robot to do the mixing and pumping. Usually, to construct a barracks manually out of wood would pause marines five days. The project was a field test to evaluate the potential of 3D-printed construction.

Colonel Nesmith Readiness Centre - Sheet1
Colonel Nesmith Readiness Centre ©www.archdaily.com
Military History Museum, Dresden, Germany - Sheet1
Military History Museum ©www.libeskind.com

Image Sources: 

5. Military History Museum, Dresden, Germany

The building was first an armory, before becoming the Saxon Army Museum, followed by a stint as a Nazi military museum, then a Soviet and East German Museum.

The façade’s openness and transparency are intended to contrast with the opacity and rigidity of the existing building. The latter represents the severity of the authoritarian past, while the former reflects the transparency of the military in a democratic society. The juxtaposition between these perspectives forms the essence of the new Military History Museum.

Military History Museum, Dresden, Germany - Sheet2
Military History Museum ©www.libeskind.com
Military History Museum, Dresden, Germany - Sheet1
Military History Museum ©www.libeskind.com

6. The Great Wall of China

Built along an arc that roughly demarcates Mongolia from China, the good Wall is the largest ever built structure in terms of mass and area. The Chinese had evolved techniques for building heavy-duty walls during the ‘Warring States Period’ of the 5th century BC.

The Great Wall of China made up of stone and earthen fortifications were built and rebuilt over several generations. This is an example of military construction called fortification. It is designed for the defense of territories in warfare.

The Great Wall of Chinaa - Sheet1
The Great wall of China ©bulldozair.com
The Great Wall of Chinaa - Sheet2
The Great wall of China ©bulldozair.com

7. Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, Australia

This training center is in Kapooka, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia. It houses a vast mess hall that can seat 1200 people and this sheer scale is reflected in the massive sawtooth roof, designed to let the sunlight in and give a sense of orientation within the expansive interior. The building is shaded on three sides by an oversized timber-clad veranda, which also provides a social space.

Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, Australia - Sheet1
Army Recruit Training Centre  architectureau.com
Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, Australia - Sheet2
Army Recruit Training Centre  architectureau.com

8. Estonian National Museum

Paris-based architects DGT has transformed a former Soviet military base into a replacement home for the Estonian National Museum within the city of Tartu. The roof points towards the sky, over the museum entrance – a detail intended to complement the area’s history as an airbase.

DGT Architects also added glass framing around the building’s concrete shell and carved gallery and performance spaces within to showcase quite 140,000 objects.

Estonian National Museum - Sheet1
Estonian National Museum ©com
Estonian National Museum - Sheet3
Estonian National Museum ©archdaily.com
Estonian National Museum ©archdaily.com

9. Danish Armed Forces Headquarters- Proposed

Danish firm Adept won a competition to design headquarters for the Danish armed forces, the design to give the building a dynamic concept in which the building adapts to changing operations.

Each of the three permanent buildings will be accompanied by a series of plug-in structures. These can be added or subtracted to different walls to suit sudden changes in use and management, caused by new operations. Adept describes these elements as “hubs” and “circuits”, where the hub may be a permanent presence and therefore the circuit forms its flexible surroundings.

Danish Armed Forces Headquarters- Proposed - Sheet1
Danish Armed Forces Headquarters ©www.dezeen.com
Danish Armed Forces Headquarters- Proposed - Sheet2
Danish Armed Forces Headquarters ©www.dezeen.com

 

10. Military Archives and Storage Building, Dublin, Ireland

The military archives and storage block are set within the context of the 19th-century military barracks close to Dublin and are separated by a small courtyard.

The Military Archives is a new purpose-built, climate-controlled space that stores 67,000 archive storage boxes. The building is carefully restored and sensitively adjusted to enable new links between the existing and the proposed new building. The new building to the rear has been designed to sit sensitively into the landscape of military buildings in the barracks complex.

Military Archives and Storage Building, Dublin, Ireland - Sheet1
Military Archives and Storage Building ©www.archello.com
Military Archives and Storage Building, Dublin, Ireland - Sheet2
Military Archives and Storage Building ©www.archello.com
Military Archives and Storage Building, Dublin, Ireland - Sheet3
Military Archives and Storage Building ©www.archello.com

11. Ministry of Defence Paris: Headquarters Building

The new headquarters of the Ministry of Defence in southwestern Paris has been designed as a natural machine. The building’s façade alternates between both transparency and opacity via horizontal slat work, providing intimacy and transparency. The building features a complicated energy management system that matches well beyond the wants of recent green building standards.

Ministry of Defence Paris: Headquarters Building - Sheet1
Ministry of Defense Paris ©www.archdaily.com
Ministry of Defence Paris: Headquarters Building - Sheet2
Ministry of Defense Paris ©www.archdaily.com

12. Zayed Military Hospital, Abu Dhabi

Zayed Military Hospital campus that will serve all branches of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces. The design includes a 260-bed medical hospital, a 40-bed psychiatric hospital, a women’s services building, security facilities, a mosque, and a utility plant.

The design is inspired by the canyons— “wadis” in Arabic—that meander through the lowlands of the regional landscape. The hospital building is positioned on the high point of the site, which is symbolic as a destination for nurturing and healing.

Zayed Military Hospital, Abu Dhabi - Sheet1
Zayed Military Hospital ©www.architectmagazine.com
Zayed Military Hospital, Abu Dhabi - Sheet2
Zayed Military Hospital ©www.architectmagazine.com

13. Marine Base Amsterdam Building

The Marine Base in Amsterdam has been a restricted military area, located in the heart of the city. The building is situated on the waterfront. It was part of an ensemble of two identical elevated volumes, connected by a single-story base. True to the “Five Points of a New Architecture” of Le Corbusier, the two buildings were elevated above the ground. Lately, the columns on which the building rests, the ‘pilotis,’ were pleasing elements for sculptural expression. The upper floors contain a grid of columns, floor beams, and floors with solid brick ends.

Marine Base Amsterdam Building - Sheet1
Marine Base Amsterdam Building ©www.archdaily.com
Marine Base Amsterdam Building - Sheet2
Marine Base Amsterdam Building ©www.archdaily.com

14. Military Academy Laboratory Centre, Ankara, Turkey

Military Academy Laboratory Centre is meant as a joint project by FREA Architects and SCRA Architects. The center is within the campus area of National Defence University in Ankara which was once used because of the academy. As the most prestigious structure of the campus, it has a closed area of 20,000 sqm. for basic education and research functions. The project is designed with the qualities of contemporary architecture and the possibilities of new technologies.

Military Academy Laboratory Centre, Ankara, Turkey - Sheet1
Military Academy Laboratory Centre ©www.architectmagazine.com
Military Academy Laboratory Centre, Ankara, Turkey - Sheet2
Military Academy Laboratory Centre ©www.architectmagazine.com

15. The Pentagon

The Pentagon is the headquarters of the US Department of Defence and one among the most important office buildings within the world. Located in Arlington County, Virginia, it’s become a logo of military power. The Pentagon was designed by architect George Bergstrom.

Bergstrom was forced to use an asymmetrical five-sided shape for his design because of the position of existing roads on the site. It contains seven floors and ten corridors that divide the building into five wedge shapes that give it its distinctive shape.

The Pentagon - Sheet1
The Pentagon ©greatbuildings.com
The Pentagon - Sheet2
The Pentagon ©wikipedia.com

References:

https://www.arch2o.com/us-air-force-academy-chapel-cadet-som/

https://www.som.com/projects/us_air_force_academy__center_for_character__leadership_development

https://www.dezeen.com/2018/09/05/us-military-3d-prints-concrete-barracks-on-site-technology/

https://www.archdaily.com/900788/colonel-nesmith-readiness-center-hacker-architects?ad_source=search&ad_medium=search_result_projects

https://libeskind.com/work/military-history-museum/

https://architectureau.com/articles/army-recruit-training-centre-kapook/

https://thespaces.com/dgt-architects-turn-disused-military-base-estonian-national-museum/

https://www.dezeen.com/2014/05/06/adept-danish-armed-forces-barracks-architecture-competition/

https://archello.com/project/military-archives-and-storage-building

https://www.archdaily.com/887388/new-ministry-of-defense-in-paris-anma

https://www.e-architect.co.uk/paris/ministry-of-defense-paris#:~:text=French%20Ministry%20of%20Defense%20Project&text=The%20new%20headquarters%20of%20the,providing%20both%20intimacy%20and%20transparency.

https://www.e-architect.co.uk/abu-dhabi/zayed-military-hospital

https://www.archdaily.com/785871/marine-base-amsterdam-building-27e-bureau-sla?ad_source=search&ad_medium=search_result_projects

https://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/military-academy-laboratory-centre

https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/The_Pentagon

Architectural Journalist

RTF

Haryana

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