LUNAR CRATER CULTURAL CENTER COMPETITION
Honorable Mention — $100
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
gabriel a. HUERTA: The design of the Lunar Crater Cultural Center (LC3) is based on a vision that the proposed design is not an end product, but the starting point for an ever-evolving building on the lunar surface. By utilizing up and coming fabrication technologies like Counter Crafting, the LC3 would be a conglomeration of “3D printed” components. The technology would not only allow for minor modifications and refurbishment, but could potentially support the emergent expansion of the base building form to accommodate future programmatic needs.
Situated at the scenic edge of the larger crater formation, the base LC3 building (LC3 Prime) remains integrated into a surface network of shuttle runways and launch pads. Its massing and formal language responds to the irregularity of the lunar surface by minimizing the surface area that is directly Contour Crafted upon the lunar surface and instead hover the majority of its massing. The touchdown points of the form relate to the discrete programmatic volumes (e.g. Terminal, Lunar Resort, Culture Center, and Sports Arena) which interconnect into a hovering mass of shared programmatic space.
Programmatically, the LC3 Prime proposal accommodates what would be the essentials for its initial inauguration. Considering that the Lunar Cultural Center is a destination in space tourism, primary program such as the Lunar Port Terminal, Resort, and Crater Observatory would provide environments that simulate Earth’s gravity so as to allow a level of comfort for the stay of tourists (who would not need the training of astronauts). A level of spectacle and novelty is created by limiting the amount of program that is subject to the reduced lunar gravity. The creation of a Low Gravity Arena, for example, would provide a unique opportunity for practicing Earth sports and the Cultural Center would offer crater tours and Moon walking adventures.
The primary challenge in executing any development on the Moon is the absence of any form of infrastructure on a site that is both remotely isolated and not easily accessible economically. The proposed approach of a phased development lays out the primary infrastructure for travel to and from the Moon and the ground transportation that would make the construction possible. At the heart of the proposal is the emergent programmatic expansion of the LC3 and its infrastructural network so as to accommodate projected space tourism growth and the stagnation of novelty.
Automated Adaptive Assembly (A3)
Similar to 3D printing, Contour Crafting is a robotic fabrication process that forms wall structures layer by layer using a quick-setting, concrete-like material. In its proposed application for the construction of the LC3, the contour crafted concrete material would be composed of lunar rock, greatly reducing the amount of exported materials necessary for construction. As an automated assembly process it utilizes the watertight 3D data as the construction instructions. The process is adaptive to all scales of construction, from primary structure to interior detailing, with a scaled fleet of specialized “3D printing” drones.
Thermal Insulating Operable Skin
HRSI Silica Ceramic Tiles are High-temperature reusable surface insulation tiles made of high purity silica fibers. As part of NASA’s Space Shuttle thermal protection system, it is used on the orbiter underside. It forms a barrier from the heat of atmospheric reentry and also helps protect from the heat and cold of space while on orbit. In its application on the LC3 the tiles would be adhered with glue to the exterior Contour Crafted surface. In select zones of the building the proposed use of the ceramic tiles as operable louvers would allow for the potential of controlled natural interior lighting and protection from periods of intense light.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
gH: Kivi Sotamaa, Hani Rashid, Tom Wiscombe.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
gH: The Colbert Report and countless hours of VivaRadio.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
gH: Kokkugia, Volkan Alkanoglu, Daniel Widrig.
jimenez LAI: Somewhere between Neil Denari and Tom Wiscombe, I think this would be a very nice architecture project on earth, but its existence on the moon or a “siteless” condition is not as strong as some others. Nice sensibility, though.
john SZOT: The ingenuity behind the construction process in this proposal is notable. It’s nice to think any robots we send to the moon would also possess an excellent sense of style. I imagine this is one of the great benefits of artificial intelligence will bring . . .