The Gerald O. Young Helicopter Operations Facility.

Highlights: Visualizing exciting ideas, persuading stakeholders and protecting the budgets for experiential art essential to the vision.

 

My client was the 1st Helicopter squadron which included members of the flight and technical support team. This squadron's mission is to airlift high-ranking Executive Branch, dignitaries, military leaders and other VIPs. Only VIPS and staff would be allowed in this 2 floor museum and workspace.

 

I visualized telling the story of the squadron in an inspiring, dramatic way to match their mission as hero's, pilots and technicians. I created the mood boards and depicted a host of physical and interactive creative  concepts in a contract, and sold the entire 2 floor project which was based on a (total budget $859,000.00).​ My perception of what level of design was needed in the facility was directly responsible for the  bidding price.

In addition to my duties above as the museum liaison, I also creative directed and project managed certain highly artistic components of the production. 

 

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The Strategy 

Creatively spark the imagination around technology and flight.

 

Once the project was won, I managed and collaborated with the creative team on this project basing the ideas on my initial mood-boards. I controlled the budgets and guided the development of all the features including creative direction of special concepts through the phases of design, fabrication and install in the 2 floor space with a team of designers, artists, fabricators, vendors and installers.  

Use creative features inside the space to enhance the dramatic storytelling of heroic missions while adding ways to gather, share, learn and dream on the job for the staff and VIP's.  

The clients loved my idea to create and install a 17 ft. abstract helicopter sculpture in the main atrium. I visualized to captivate the imaginations of staff and visitors in the main hall. It would thematically unify all the facility exhibits and serve as an icon for the museum.  a sculpture in the atrium was inspired by the pre-existing wrap around staircase, which I imagined would allow the viewer to approach it from many angles and peer into it as they climbed to the second floor.  I selected the artist to create this inspirational piece.  I also directed the creation of a sculptural acoustic wall for the auditorium. The sculptural acoustic wall was created though the use of the clients photography applied on dimensional shapes that enlivened the space while buffering the sound.

Another interesting part of the project was suggesting a way to showcase scrapbook memorabilia. I sold a 65" touch-table which would allow folks to gather together, and create community in a physical touch experienc with the photos on a table. In this same piece of equipment, held schedules, concierge information for the facility. and introducory information for visitors.

 

These special pieces were ground breaking components for our client requiring that I pay special attention to make everyone feel comfortable going forward with the artful and dramatic vision I had in mind. 

 

DATA

Exhibits covered 2 floors of the facility

 

As of result of the work on this project, the Andrew's Air Force Base Wing Commander was extremely impressed and referred our team to Air Force One. He noted first among the exhibits, the impressive hanging helicopter sculpture. 

  • A dedication zone with timeline and life like mannequin of hero, Gerald O. Young;

  • An iconic 17 foot custom sculpted helicopter hanging in the atrium

  • An auditorium with photo acoustic panels and video timeline wall

  • A heritage lounge with memorabilia evoking the golden age of flight, custom wood work and new kitchen

  • An exhibit panels in 5 staff briefing rooms

  • A 65 inch touch-table with custom programming

  • Artifact cases, labels and custom monitors walls in the atrium

  • Custom award exhibits with LED lighting effects 

  • Chain of command leadership displays with movable systems

  • Lettering on the exterior brick building

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