The Oregon Aviation Museum collects, restores, and exhibits planes and other aviation artifacts, and is the central resource and research center for the history of Oregon aviation. The building is organized by a linear circulation gallery which houses the smaller items in the collection and which interconnects the other functional zones of the museum. Each zone is distinct and composed of its own unique spaces and related support systems.

The theme of exhibit pervades the design. Everything is considered to have this potential – whether it be an exterior element such as the entry plaza which is simultaneously an arrival space and an exhibit terrace, or an interior element, such as the Restoration Shop, which might be arranged, opened, and connected to public circulation to serve as a special exhibit.