Foster reveals Spaceport design - images
These futuristic images are Foster and Partners’ designs for the world’s first passenger “spaceport”.
Planned for a site in New Mexico, Spaceport will be the base for companies like Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic offering space trips for private tourists.
Foster won the project through an international competition last month, beating 11 other firms.
The sinuous shape of the building, set within the desert-like landscape, and its interior spaces “seek to capture the drama and mystery of space flight itself, articulating the thrill of space travel”, the practice said.
The design relates to the dimensions of the spacecraft, with particular attention to the balance between accessibility and privacy. While astronauts’ areas and visitors spaces are full integrated with the rest of the building, more senstive areas - such as the control room - are visible, but have limited access.
Visitors and astronauts enter the building via a deep channel cut into the landscape. The retaining walls form an exhibition space that documents the history of the region and its settlers, alongside a history of space exploration. The strong linear axis continues on a galleried level to the “superhanger” - which houses the spacecraft and the simulation room - through to the terminal building.
The building is also designed to have minimal embodied carbon and to meet the US’s LEED Platinum accreditation.