Lunar Gothic describes the construction of a data centre complex on the Moon, using lunar regolith (also known as lunar soil) as the raw material and the lunar north pole as the site. Through the design of the largest and tallest buildings in the known universe, the proposal explores what architectural forms emerge from large-scale automation on the Moon.
Lunar Gothic is explored through three lenses, namely lunar law, lunar territory and lunar construction. The proposal questions the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty and the 1979 Moon Treaty in regards to land ownership and viability of construction, and exposes the lack of clarity and loopholes evident in current legislation.
Lunar Gothic explores theories of emerging secular geographies due to global-scale computation. Non-state and state actors are competing for claims over legitimate violence, citizenship and the ability to define borders. As a result, the marriage of territory and government is eclipsed by transnationalism, whereby computation surpasses and overflows regular cartographies, leaving open the question of who owns what on the Moon.
Lunar Gothic is located at the north pole of the Moon, making it an ideal stop-off point for data transmission across space. There is constant solar radiation for human habitation and solar energy, and it is located on the flattest highland between the two most northern craters, making construction easier. Regolith is contour-crafted autonomously on the Moon, within a gothic logic of construction, whereby the structure is close to the vertical eliminating the need for a gantry or formwork.
Lunar Gothic is designed to be viewed from Earth, with naturally changing light conditions depending on the position of the Moon around Earth and the Sun. The first buildings on the Moon, understood as a global spectacle, questions how our human mode of thinking is modified by seeing human-built structures on an alien celestial body.