This collection, based on the Beyond Archive Gallery at the Norman Foster Foundation, features projects which anticipate future building typologies based on principles refined throughout Norman Foster's architectural career. Here, the inspiration of flight and the leveraging of technology for ecological means finds new applications.
· Spaceport America, New Mexico, USA, 2006-2014
The sequence of schematic models for the Lunar Habitation Module created for the European Space Agency suggests a system in which lunar soil is used to robotically 3D print a shelter that can withstand the climactic extremes, radiation, and meteoric occurrences of the moon. The creative possibilities of structure are once again explored in this project through the successive 3D printed studies in the gallery of bone density as a natural inspiration for the structural shell of the lunar module.
Even when looking far into the future, the projects in the Beyond collection demonstrate a continued dialogue between building and landscape. The Apple campus, for example, was intended to be integrated into the California landscape in contrast to the neighbouring suburban sprawl. Working from the existing precedent of a fragmented campus of individual buildings surrounding by parking, the process models work through different configurations before arriving at an integrated circular form. This scheme creates as much campus greenery as possible while creating a lush central communal area that thereby affords offices on either side panoramic views of the rejuvenated landscape.
In the Spaceport America model, the design principles discussed above inspired a terminal that emerges out of the terrain of New Mexico. A portion of the model’s clear acrylic roof is realized in the built work using an earthen finish so that the building’s profile merges with the rust-coloured ridges of the surrounding landscape while taking advantage of thermal insulation to maximize ecological performance. The drawings for the Spaceport express the dramatic axis established among the building’s access road, terminal, and runway. This organization is not only highly functional, integrating terminal and hangar programs, but also heightens the excitement of space travel by mixing travellers and astronauts in the carved building entrance and internal spaces.