Space Gherkin

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?


2 Responses to “Space Gherkin”

  1. Foster is predictable. He’s had the spaceport project, but he didnt’ get the first touch on that (John Curran did at Alsops, but Alsops were stupid enough not to bite on the job JC brought in). The question is, what new blood got a look in on this? Those who are new school now, as the recession hits will be the new establishment and when the SP finally gets built, they will be mature enough to do it. History tells us this. So who are they?

  2. I can’t wait for Prince Charles to sabotage anything that’s proposed for not fitting in with 18th century Moon architecture.