The Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space Terminal Hangar Facility at Spaceport America — a.k.a. Spaceport America — recently received the 2014 Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture in New Mexico.
The Award program recognizes creativity and excellence in contemporary architectural design and also honors the memory of Santa Fe architect Jeff Harnar, whose innovative work greatly contributed to New Mexico's architectural heritage.
Read on for more details.
"Sited in the high desert plain approximately thirty miles southeast of Truth or Consequences, the project was selected from submissions of completed projects located throughout the state. The concept for this unique and solitary facility resulted from a design competition sponsored by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority and won by a collaboration of SMPC Architects of Albuquerque (Architect of Record), Foster + Partners in London (design architect), and URS Corporation (Prime E/A).
The 2014 Jury was comprised of architects Michael Fifield, FAIA, Eugene, Oregon; and Tania Salgado, AIA, Denver, Colorado; along with Alf Simon, FCSLA, Associate Dean and Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of New Mexico; and Diego Antonio Carbajal, graduate architecture student at UNM."
"As with Harnar Award programs conducted in previous years, the selection panel was impressed by both the breadth and large number of excellent projects that were submitted for the competition. Jury Chair Michael Fifield noted that the Jury was given the very difficult task of selecting a single project from a large number of exciting entries for the Harnar top award; one, that in its estimation, best fulfilled the criteria for this prestigious prize."
"'The design of this iconic facility for the spaceport seeks inspiration from the context of the surrounding landscape, resulting in a powerful form, but one that blends with the larger context and landscape framework of the region,'" Fifield commented. 'The expressive, innovative form of the undulating roof-like the shifting, moving desert sands - seems timeless, not unlike space itself.'"
"The Jury also noted that even with an exceedingly modest budget for the project, the architects were able to accomplish the functional imperatives of the future operations of Virgin Galactic. “While providing Spaceport America a memorable identity, the design also demonstrates the innovative utilization of available materials and current technologies, incorporating proven sustainable practices.'"
"The formal presentation of the 2014 Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture was held February 28, at the UNM School of Architecture & Planning in the Pearl Hall Auditorium. SMPC Principal and Spaceport THF Project Architect David Hassard accepted the award on behalf of the design team."
"Mr. Hassard stated, “I would like to acknowledge the principals and staff of SMPC Architects, both past and present, who contributed to this project as well as many others during the past 70 years. Many of them are graduates of the UNM School of Architecture + Planning and others have been significant program supporters, most notably George Pearl. To honor all of them, we established the SMPC Architects Endowment for Sustainable Design at UNM in 2008. SMPC has pledged the cash award to the SMPC endowment fund, to further studies in sustainable design."
Photos courtesy of Nigel Young/Foster + Partners; New Mexico Spaceport Authority; SMPC Architects
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