tustin hangars as acoustic organ(ism)

(image credit )

I visited the site of the hangars in February 2012. These are among the world’s largest wood frame structures, built to house the department of Navy’s fleet of airships. The old dirigibles are long gone from the site and few of these structures remain anywhere in the country. For years these remained in a sort of liminal state, not needed for their original military purpose. As bases were decommissioned, the landscape around them changed. Suburban development, big box stores and malls surround them now. The changes in the landscape in that part of southern California are remarkably strange as airfields are converted to suburbs, the boundary between the old and new mixes both. The hangars are large enough to develop and fly experimental aircraft and were primarily used for aeronautic research, leased through the department of Navy. I think Blink 182 shot a music video in one of them. They are so large they create their own internal weather patterns. Their shape and scale also create a unique space for sound. 2 of the 3 hangars at the Tustin site remain standing, slated to be converted to a park. Their survival requires a new design for a use that is sure to transform them, and will probably remove the opportunities for unique sonic research and novel acoustic experience- according to OC Parks officials I spoke with, the transition should begin in 2016.

Center for Land Use Interpretation page on Tustin Hangars http://clui.org/ludb/site/tustin-hangars


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