Concept | A Place for Space / by Tim Ratliff

One of the ideas that attracted us most from our Bring The Future 1: When Up Is Down talk earlier this month was the need for a cultural contribution to the exploration of space, which is typically perceived as a purely scientific, political or military endeavour. 

We see the experience of venturing into orbit as one which effects us all, with the potential to shift our perspective dramatically. A journey worth making for the hidden opportunities it holds, for the benefit of the global imagination.

Inspired by the works of the Arts Catalyst, Nelly Ben Hayoun, Tomás Saraceno, the Kosmica event and many others, we are thinking about what RL-a's contribution could be. We are particularly interested in the idea of place in the context of space travel and the expression of moments, joyful, fearful and life affirming in an architecture without environmental precedent.

Using our sky scraper project as a basis (see recent sky elevator developments here) we will be investigating what a staged journey from planet surface to low orbit could be like seen through the prism of our conceptual 'building'. The structure of which consists of a planetary ring in low orbit with several 'hung' geodesic lattice towers linked to various points at the earths equator. Each 'tower' consists of habitation loosely aligned with the earths atmospheric layers with the orbital ring containing energy plants, transport system and settlements. 

RL-a Orbital Ring

We'll be starting our journey with the Central African base port, Earth Datum.

'Everybody should be in space' 

Nicola Triscot 2015 on the Russian attitude to space

RL-a Orbital Ring - Base Port 1