September 21st, 2009 | researchmaterial
Sir Norman Foster — whom I believe is technically Baron Foster of Thames Bank? — is reportedly having his architectural firm pitch to ESA’s Aurora programme, to "investigate adapting materials found in space for building purposes, using data from the original Apollo moon landing, and new information gathered by robot vehicles on Mars. Among the objectives would be building permanent structures on the moon."
A spokesman at the London headquarters of Foster and Partners confirmed "there is a tender" but refused to elaborate on Foster’s plans to conquer outer space, possibly by adding a nice glass dome.
There will be many "space Gherkin" jokes. I find this peculiarly fascinating, on an order with Raymond Loewy having been involved with the design of the Skylab interior. It comes close to the space dreams of Sixties radical architectural theorists, Archigram being the obvious reference. Sir Peter Cook of that storied group once wrote:
Can the near-reality of the rocket-object and the hovercraft-object…. carry the dynamic building with them into life?