Foster and Partners
Upadate: Spaceport America by Foster and Partners
Project: Spaceport America
Designed by Foster + Partners
Co-architects: SMPC Architects
Location: New Mexico, USA
Spaceport America marks the first step into exploring space travel on commercial basis, work of Foster and Partners this state of the art project is now completed. For more images and words from the architects continue after the jump:
From the Architecture:
The Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space, a combined terminal and hangar facility, will support up to two WhiteKnightTwo and five SpaceShipTwo vehicles. The 120,000 square-foot building has been designed by Foster + Partners, working with URS Corporation and New Mexico architects SMPC.
The Gateway will also house all astronaut preparation and celebration facilities, a mission control centre and a friends and family area. Entrance is via a deep channel cut into the landscape and its retaining walls form an exhibition space that documents a history of space exploration alongside the story of the region.
With minimal embodied carbon and few additional energy requirements, the scheme has been designed to achieve LEED Gold accreditation. The low-lying form is dug into the landscape to exploit the thermal mass, which buffers the building from the extremes of the New Mexico climate as well as catching the westerly winds for ventilation; and maximum use is made of daylight via skylights. Built using local materials and construction techniques, it aims to be both sustainable and sensitive to its surroundings.