To further enhance the RSAF’s capability to conduct flight training in a realistic virtual environment, DSTA developed a training system and customised a new facility for it. Building a facility to house a developmental system together with existing operational systems presented challenges in the planning and design phases. Power, cooling, space and loading requirements had to be properly detailed. In June 2013, the DSTA team delivered the facility successfully for system installation to take place.

As the building was to be located next to a public access road, the team had to ensure that it complements the existing building complex and not be overbearing in terms of height. Thus, aesthetic treatments were applied purposefully and effectively to conceal the function and size of the building. While the building requirements only necessitated an opaque black box, architectural elements were added to this mass to break down the scale of the building. To mask the actual height of the structure, the team added ribs to the building, which are non-structural elements that taper off so that the building is perceived to be shorter than it really is. In addition, the ribs were painted in a gradient of grey shades which not only creates visual interest, but also breaks down the immense scale of the front wall.

The team faced challenging site conditions with massive underground services to be diverted. Furthermore, there was limited space for the infrastructure development and strict height constraints imposed by the runway in close proximity. Through innovation, the team turned the sloping height restriction into a design opportunity for the roof of the building. An additional inclined cladding was built as a double facade to mediate sound and heat, and to provide waterproofing to equipment within the building.

The team’s delivery marked a major milestone towards realising the RSAF’s enhanced training capability.