Why designing on the moon ?
I read a lot about space technology, and, as is with most people who are interested in this topic, I love science fiction as well. I have always had an eye for 'silly designs in science fiction' that do not take into account what it would really take to cope with extraterrestrial building conditions. In my work as an architect, I conducted studies to building in extreme environments, and hence designing a building on the moon seemed a logical step. The moon is the most likely place to head for, as it is nearby, we have a lot of knowledge about the moon and how to get there, and it has a lot of useful natural resources. I believe tourism can be an important fundraiser for space science, so I decided to design a hotel. The most important thing about the hotel design was that I wanted it to stretch beyond an engineering solution that would merely cope with all the typical problems. I intended to really exploit all the wonderful opportunities of for instance low gravity and the lack of wind pressure. Although it is still science fiction, I think space settlements will become fact and it is important for architects to start thinking about this new domain.
Architectural considerations for buildings on the moon?
When designing a building on the moon, you have to come up with practical solutions for the extreme conditions, such as the high radiation levels, the extreme temperatures, ranging from approximately -120 to +120 degrees Celsius, the lack of atmosphere and the low gravity (1/6 th of Earth's gravity).
However, some of these conditions not only pose problems, but also offer some exciting chances. For instance, with low gravity and because of the lack of atmosphere (and hence of wind pressure), it is possible to design constructions that could not be built on Earth.
I intended to stress the possibilities of low gravity in the design, and offer visitors a stunning view on both the lunar landscape and the Earth in the ink black lunar sky.