Duxford's iconic American Air Museum awarded Grade II* listed status

Duxford grade 2 listed collage
Duxford awarded Grade II* listed status Credit: IWM duxford

Duxford's iconic American Air Museum has become one of Britain’s youngest listed buildings after being awarded Grade II* listed status by Historic England.

The curved Cambridgeshire hangar, which was purpose built between 1995 and 1997, houses nearly 200 historic aircraft.

The museum was designed by Norman Foster to house an important collection of US warplanes used to fight in Europe.

It is widely regarded as the most impressive group outside the United States.

Duxford has one of the largest collections of US military aircraft outside of America Credit: IWM Duxford

The American Air Museum at Duxford was designed by Norman Foster to house an important collection of US warplanes used to fight in Europe

Although not yet 30 years old, which is the threshold for being granted listed status, the museum designed by renowned architects Foster + Partners, is considered an outstanding and innovative architectural site and won critical acclaim in 1998 when it was awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize.

John Brown, Executive Director of Commerce and Operations at IWM said: "The American Air Museum tells a hugely important story in not only the history of IWM Duxford, but of the allied forces during the Second World War, highlighting the contribution that thousands of American service men and women made to the conflict.

"We needed the building that houses those fascinating stories to be a fitting testament to their service, and that was definitely achieved.”

The museum's curved curved-torus roof form is generated in part by the largest aircraft in the collection, the mighty B-52 bomber.

Duxford's Hangar was awarded the RIBA prize in 1998 Credit: IWM Duxford

Spanning 90 metres, the roof shell is made of two layers of concrete that can support a point load of up to twelve tonnes, with the central space looking onto the active runway.

Duxford was home to thousands of American Air Force personnel during the Second World War.

Their exhibition 'Counting the Cost’ is made up of 52 large glass panels engraved with cross-like silhouettes of the 7,031 American aircraft that were lost on operations.

Memorial to the fallen WW2 US servicemen at Duxford Credit: IWM Duxford

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “The American Air Museum at Duxford is an outstanding building, with a geometric construction that makes it the most complicated of all Foster’s work.

"Its smooth, sweeping form is expertly designed to complement IWM’s amazing aircraft collection. It is important to recognise and protect the work of such a celebrated architect, whose designs have shaped much of England’s modern landscape, especially with a site that tells the stories of 20th century air combat."

The museum reopened on the 3rd of December, and features a temporary exhibition of Captain Sir Tom Moore's birthday cards.