Sensible Heritage

Planners at RAF Mildenhall, England, are keen to preserve the base’s 1930s-era architecture and historical heritage, while creating modern usable interior spaces. Last year, the base spent close to $20 million to update several buildings. “We restore the exterior of these facilities in the appearance similar to that originally built, while updating their internal layouts and systems to the 21st century,” explained Martin Lewis, base deputy engineer. Mildenhall officials recently completed a $3.3 million interior renovation of Building 450 and are currently renovating Building 435 and Building 464 under a separate $5 million project. However, they have deemed some facilities, such as Building 538, a C-type aircraft hanger built in 1935, beyond economical repair. Since Building 538 was also too close to Mildenhall’s runway, workers razed it. With the sizable investments, the renovated facilities “will be used for the next 20 [years] to 40 years,” Lewis said. (Mildenhall report by SrA. Tabitha Lee)