July 16, 1969 marked the day of modern exploration and endeavour. Humans have an instinct to expand their knowledge and the explore the unknown. The International Lunar Station (ILS) will become the first extra-terrestrial Airport- an accessible stepping stone for the new era of travel. The space will act as an educational hub in which guests explore the Moon and the distance universe. The terminal is designed to accommodate all members of the public who wish to explore Earths natural satellite from family holidays, to educational field trips.
Without an atmosphere, the surface does not succumb to weathering, therefore the space is designed to be sympathetic to its surroundings in which it will limit the use of man-made materials and integrate the Moons natural characteristics such as basalt rock. Situated in the highland ridge of Mons Hadley near the Apollo 15 landing Site, the lunar hub will become embedded into the face of a mountainside, excavating into hidden lava tubes below the surface, separating the scheme into four levels staggered above each other which mimic the contour lines drawn onto topographical maps of the site.
Guests are educated through four tailored journeys situated on different levels:
Level 0: Deep inside the lunar crust, guest will explore the natural subterranean cave structures.
Level 1: lunar rovers will transport users across the Moon’s surface where guests can experience an astronauts journey of exploration.
Level 2: Guests have already taken the giant leap of traveling to the moon via spacecraft. After touchdown, guests will transit along a clinical bridge known as the transition zone which spans from the airlock of the rocket, and protrudes into the side of the mountain. This space acts as a lobby and boarding area where guests check in/out, are shown to their rooms and can book excursions.
Level 3: Users will take part in an interstellar journey into the beyond universe through the lunar observatory- thanks to the clear atmosphere of the Moon.
The space will be mined into the lunar surface to create negative, cave like, circular spaces. Drones will be sent from Earth to mine away at the lunar rock in a horizontal fashion which will mimic the natural strata. The rock will be machined with sleek polished surfaces adjacent to rough textured walls, while natural curves will be met by the occasional linear man made beam which will integrate and embed the space more effectively into the surroundings. Levels 1-3 provide open, tall spaces with panoramic windows, creating a breath-taking vista of the landscape and the distant Apollo 15 site. The integration of light and open space juxtaposes the compression experienced within the caves of level 0. High defined spot lights will emphasise the natural raw rock above guests, while a subtle diffused glow will wash the low levels of space, providing a relaxing environment while exhibiting the natural characteristics of the landscape and architecture.