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Outer Space: The Latest Architecture and News

SOM Presents Vision of Lunar Settlements at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Invited to participate in the 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) exhibits Life Beyond Earth, a vision for a Moon Village. Developed together with the European Space Agency (ESA), the installation presents a proposal for a sustainable ecosystem that would support human presence on the Moon, exploring the opportunity of expanding the scope of architecture. The project reaffirms the importance of space exploration while also highlighting its potential to advance knowledge that would help address issues on Earth.

Courtesy of Skidmore Owings and Merrill© Laurian GhinitoiuCourtesy of Skidmore Owings and MerrillCourtesy of Skidmore Owings and Merrill+ 9

World’s First Space Hotel to Open in 2027

The first ever commercial space hotel, Voyager Station, aims to open by 2027. Accommodating 280 guests and 112 crew members, the project is being planned by Orbital Assembly Corporation, a construction company run by John Blincow. The station will be OAC's first major project, and the first commercial space station with artificial gravity.

Courtesy of Orbital Assembly CorporationCourtesy of Orbital Assembly CorporationCourtesy of Orbital Assembly CorporationCourtesy of Orbital Assembly Corporation+ 7

Outer Space 2020 Winners Announced

Blank Space has announced the winners of the second annual Outer Space competition. The competition asked architects and designers to leverage real scientific advances in robotics, AI, rocketry and autonomous spacecraft to create visions for the near future in outer space.The competition attracted thousands of participants, with winning entries showcasing narratives and images of architecture beyond the planet Earth.

Courtesy of Therese Leick and Wilhelm Scheruebl, TAB collectiveCourtesy of Therese Leick and Wilhelm Scheruebl, TAB collectiveCourtesy of Thanat Prathnadi & Joana VilaçaCourtesy of Wei Wu & Zhenyu Yang+ 15

Open Call: Outer Space 2020 by Blank Space

We are on the cusp of the second great age of space exploration.

Outer space has always captured the imaginations of the public. New advances in technology (including comet landings, the Orion Spacecraft, and large scale social experiments leading to exploration of Mars) mean that outer space is no longer a place only astronauts will get to experience – but something you and I can experience within our lifetimes

For a long time, the fantastical visions of space exploration have been rooted in the scifi proposals of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Ring worlds, death stars and space colonies conjure vibrant, psychedelic

Outer Space 2019 Winners Announced

2ndPrize: Memories of Dandelion2ndPrize: Memories of Dandelion1stPrize: The Monument to the LaborsOuter Space 2019 Winners Announced+ 27

Blank Space has announced the winners of the first ‘Outer Space’ competition. With submissions from over 40 countries, the entries explore future possibilities and technical breakthroughs through detailed stories and artwork.

The winners were chosen by a jury of 15 leading architects, designers, and technologists, including Chris Hadfield, Eduardo Tresoldi, David Benjamin, Chris Precht, and Sabrina Thompson. 

Keep reading to learn more about the three winning projects and 12 honorable mentions.

SOM Unveils Vision for First Human Settlement on the Moon

Skidmore Owings and Merrill have unveiled their vision for the "Moon Village", the first permanent human settlement on the Lunar surface. Developed in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the multidisciplinary project will be masterplanned, designed, and engineered by SOM.

Architecture Students Imagine a Moon Base with the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency has teamed up with a group of architecture students to speculate on the future design of sustainable lunar habitats. From the ESA’s astronaut center in Cologne, Germany, the organization challenged the students to draw on extreme environments in remote places, and speculate on sourcing and producing materials on the Moon to build a sustainable habitat.

Giving consideration to sunlight, temperature, and terrain, the design team developed a system of inflatable modules that can land at the base of a small crater on the South Polar Region of the Moon, where they will gradually fill the cavity with lunar soil until the modules are effectively buried.

Life on Mars? Foster + Partners to Showcase Extra-Terrestrial Habitats at UK's Goodwood Festival

Foster + Partners will detail its vision of life on Mars and the Moon at the UK’s Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018. Forming part of the festival's Future Lab event, the vision will be presented through a range of models, robotics, and futuristic designs exploring the future of life in space.

The firm's showcase will include a virtual reality experience, allowing visitors to explore the inside of a proposed state-of-the-art habitation pod.

How to Design When There is No Gravity

Not many architects will come across the challenge of building in outer space, but who knows what the future will hold... asteroid mining and space photobioreactors? In a recent article, Metropolis Magazine looks into the design of the International Space Station, examining how our conventional rules of architecture become obsolete in zero gravity. Walls, ceilings, and floors can be interchangeable, and "form follows function" is taken to the extreme.

2018 marks 20 years since construction first began on the International Space Station. The satellite is made up of 34 separate pieces, each of which was either delivered by space shuttle or self-propelled into space. With absolutely no room for error, the 13-year construction of the space station was perhaps one of the big success stories of the millennium, seeing 230 astronauts, cosmonauts and space-tourists visit over the past two decades.