Tagged: space

Artist impression of the interior of a giant hollow asteroid, seen from the shore of a lake, with two men on a wooden pier, looking out towards a city and the hills, lakes and cliffs beyond

Psyche Station: living in an asteroid

Some people use Facebook to watch cat videos or to read fake news. I use this medium for completely different things. A few weeks ago, my attention was triggered by a sketch my Facebook friend Shaun Moss posted. A simple drawing of a fairly extensive project: the excavation of asteroid 16 Psyche for the establishment of a space colony. The blue lines indicate a huge cylindrical space (the distances are in meters). Rotating the big rock around its central axis creates a centrifugal force on the curved walls of the cylinder. That force feels like gravity, like in a spinning washing...

Impression of The Sulawesi Space Elevator, with a rotating space station and solar panels in the foreground, the Earth in the background and the cable with elevator cars in between.

The Space Elevator: It Ain’t Cheap, But…

An elevator into space: it sounds like science fiction. And that’s what it is: authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Kim Stanley Robinson wrote heavy books about it. But what’s science fiction today, is in the newspaper paper tomorrow and in the history books on the day after. And Arthur C. Clarke has been right more often; after all, he also conceived the communications satellite. An appealing concept In recent years, organizations such as NASA, but also companies like Google, started exploring the possibilities of the space elevator. And the concept certainly has some appeal. The traditional way to get...

Interieur image St.Mary's church in Watford, showing the alternative with a stone floor, looking towards the chancel

Working in Watford

The past one and a half week I’ve been in Watford, England, to provide my services to the design for the re-order of St. Mary’s Church. I previously wrote about this beautiful eight hundred year old church building, built with the typical flintstone that can be seen often in this region: The church’s interior is beautiful too, but also a bit impractical and not very flexible to use. For some time, there have been plans to make the church more accessible and welcoming. Now it looks like that is finally going to happen. Re-ordering the chancel My work was mostly...

Front facade of the Green Pyramid, a radically sustainable house in Borne, The Netherlands: a modest entry to a surprisingly generous space

The Green Pyramid: Radically Sustainable

The Bornsche Maten is a new neighborhood in the municipality of Borne, the Netherlands. In the southern part there’s room for the so-called “Living Wild”-concept: building without restrictive rules, giving the buyer the right to determine the size of the lot and the freedom to choose which style of living suits him or her. There is still room for ten to twenty houses. In a design competition builders and architects were challenged to share their creative approach to living in the 21st century. A jury has reviewed the 39 submissions on originality, comfort, sustainability and innovation; ultimately they selected 18...

Ares, the spaceship from Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars, with the red Planet in the star spangled background

The Ares by Kim Stanley Robinson: a Sustainable Spaceship

Nothing is as good for your spatial understanding as building a 3d model of a spaceship. This is a reconstruction of the Ares from Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars, based on the descriptions by Robinson and on the original cover illustration by Don Dixon (which contradict each other at some points). Sustainability The Ares was an early example of sustainable shipbuilding: Robinson, who wrote the book in the early nineties, imagined the Ares being composed of recycled space shuttle tanks. American tanks, recognizable from their brown foam insulation, in the outer ring, and Russian tanks for the central axis. The...