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Spaceport by Foster and Partners

04.09.07

Spaceport by Foster and Partners

Foster + Partners to design the world's first spaceport

The Foster + Partners and URS team has won an international competition to build the first private spaceport in the world – The New Mexico Spaceport Authority Building – it was announced today. The sinuous shape of the building in the desert-like landscape of New Mexico and its interior spaces seek to capture the drama and mystery of space flight itself, articulating the thrill of space travel for the first space tourists.

Organised into a highly efficient and rational plan, the Spaceport has been designed to relate to the dimensions of the spacecraft. There is also a careful balance between accessibility and privacy. 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.

Designed to have minimal embodied carbon and few additional energy requirements, the scheme has been designed to achieve the prestigious LEED Platinum accreditation. The low-lying form is dug into the landscape to exploit the thermal mass and natural light enters via skylights.

Lord Foster said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be part of the dynamic team chosen to design the worlds first space terminal. This technically complex building will not only provide a dramatic experience for the astronauts and visitors, but will set an ecologically sound model for future Spaceport facilities.”

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