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Inside Bombardier Inc’s new jet manufacturing centre by NEUF architect(e)s

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Aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Inc is best known for its Global and Challenger families of business jets. As part of the historic Canadian company’s plan to consolidate its scattered production facilities, this new assembly centre in Toronto is now home to the final assembly of its Global 7500 and Global Express long-range aircraft.

(Image credit: Adrien Williams)

Hiring long-term collaborator NEUF architect(e)s, a Canadian practice founded in Montreal back in 1971, Bombardier has now moved into its new manufacturing campus and office complex. This massive 750,000 sq ft facility at Toronto Pearson International Airport replaces the company’s long-standing facility at the city’s Downsview Airport and marks a new prominence in manufacturing at a time when other key players are going through major issues.

Bombardier Aircraft Assembly Centre, Toronto, NEUF architect(e)s

The new flight test hangar (left) and Aero-Structural Facility (ASF)

(Image credit: Adrien Williams)

The new campus has been designed with the same levels of efficiency and sustainability as a healthcare complex, with vast manufacturing hangars paired with office and administrative areas. According to Bombardier’s Graham Kelly, vice president of Operations for Global Aircraft, ‘building an aircraft is an undertaking that rivals the complexity of a major building project’.

Bombardier Aircraft Assembly Centre, Toronto, NEUF architect(e)s

Bombardier’s new flight test hangar

(Image credit: Adrien Williams)

Consisting of two structures, a flight test hangar and a much larger Aero-Structural Facility (ASF), NEUF has helped Bombardier bring production together under one roof. This speeds up assembly, preserving a line of sight right through the entire manufacturing and testing processes.

Inside the Bombardier Aircraft Assembly Centre, Toronto

Bombardier Aircraft Assembly Centre, Toronto, NEUF architect(e)s

(Image credit: Adrien Williams)

Scale varies wildly from precision handiwork through to robotic handling, automated equipment and the challenge of moving wing assembly and fuselages through the space safely and efficiently.

Bombardier Aircraft Assembly Centre, Toronto, NEUF architect(e)s

(Image credit: Adrien Williams)

All of this needs to take place in a precisely climate-controlled environment with a minimal energy footprint and very high fire and safety requirements. The expansive list of sub-contractors and consultees is testament to the complexity of blending industrial architecture, precision manufacturing and conventional workspace design.

Bombardier Aircraft Assembly Centre, Toronto, NEUF architect(e)s

(Image credit: Adrien Williams)

NEUF’s work involved helping streamline Bombardier’s processes, tailoring the new spaces for a constantly evolving manufacturing environment without constraining the potential for more efficiencies in the future. ‘Designing for aerospace isn’t just about the physical structure,’ says NEUF partner architect Lilia Koleva. ‘It’s about creating a space that perfectly supports Bombardier’s workflow, its people, and the meticulous detail that goes into every jet it builds.’

Bombardier Aircraft Assembly Centre, Toronto, NEUF architect(e)s

(Image credit: Adrien Williams)

Bombardier Aircraft Assembly Centre, Toronto, NEUF architect(e)s

(Image credit: Adrien Williams)

Bombardier Aircraft Assembly Centre, Toronto, NEUF architect(e)s

(Image credit: Adrien Williams)

Bombardier Aircraft Assembly Centre, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Ontario, NEUF.ca, Bombardier.com

Bombardier Aircraft Assembly Centre, Toronto, NEUF architect(e)s

(Image credit: Adrien Williams)

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