ROCKET CITY: Envisioning a Future for the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL

The US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is NASA’s official Visitor Information Center for the Marshall Space Flight Center and receives over 1 million visitors per year. Its world-renowned Space Camp teaches engineering to children and young adults surrounded by the facts and artifacts of space exploration. Opened in 1970, the center acts as a showcase for the nation’s space and defense programs and hosts authentic training simulations for space, aviation, robotics, and cyber instruction. The complex is nested within a 432-acre landscape carved from the US Army’s Redstone Arsenal and includes classrooms, exhibition halls, residential dormitories, and a hotel. An Energy Trail links the buildings with the Exploration Park, the Botanical Gardens, and a sports complex.

Enabled by an infusion of federal resources, the US Army is preparing to lease an additional 104 acres to the US Space and Rocket Center for new facilities, programs, and landscapes. Participants in the studio will work across scales and create both a short-term and long-term campus master plan for the center’s expansion. Short-term programs include a new headquarters and operations building, education center, experiential museum, mixed- and special-use zones, and an enhanced connectivity framework of roads, trails, pedestrian paths, and gathering spaces. Long-term efforts significantly expand Exploration and Rocket Parks and add additional housing opportunities and exhibition halls. Students will interact with the Executive Director of the center as well as the Directors of Education, Museum and Exhibitions, Space Camp, and Advancement.

This studio is open to all students in the architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design departments. A site visit is planned to Huntsville, Alabama.