Tohoku Spaceport //
The spaceport is a gateway for commercial air and space travelers, and interstellar evacuees. As one approaches the Tohoku Spaceport, it is immediately clear that one has crossed a threshold to the space beyond our atmosphere. The architecture serves as an extension to our non-earth infrastructure and should give such an impression. The interior structures and spaces are light and ephemeral, but also secure and protecting. The experience of travel will return to its previous glory as an experience of luxury, and excitement. There is an influence from Middle Eastern airports that tend to focus on the event of meeting, education, business and the sharing of ideas, while playing down the western shopping mall. There is also a heavy architectural influence from the local Japanese architecture with a unique approach to creating spaces through solids, voids, walls, courts and the ground plane. The design is internationally accessible, but inspired by traditional and contemporary Japanese design. As this facility will serve both air and spacecraft, much is programmatically borrowed from contemporary airport design. The facility services smaller aircraft and horizontal take-off spacecraft. There are ten gates and earmarked space for another ten to be built as services expand. Ticketing and baggage will be managed by spaceport staff, relieving the clutter of travel company branding and allowing customer service to be standard regardless of carrier or ticket class. The baggage and ticketing system is highly automated, allowing for the fastest de/boarding times and ease of travel. Air and space travelers are mixed as often as possible to allow universal access to the thrill of space travel. The architectural form is highly suggestive of its interior programming, while reacting to the local conditions with very specific design guidelines in response to tsunami conditions. There is the potential to act as both an evacuation point for a global disaster as well as for future tsunamis.
Design documentation for a commercial/evacuation spaceport in Ishinomaki, Japan.