Rocket City: Envisioning a Future for the U.S. 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-renown Space Camp teaches children and young adults about engineering surrounded by the facts and artifacts of space exploration. The complex is nested within a 432-acre landscape carved from the US Army’s Redstone Arsenal and it includes classrooms, exhibition halls, residential dormitories and a hotel. 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 for all ages. Energy Trail links the buildings with Exploration Park, the Botanical Gardens and a sports complex. This Spring 2020 interdisciplinary studio, brought together 13 students from architecture, urban design, urban planning and landscape architecture to envision a new Master Plan expansion for the campus and grounds, enabled by an infusion of federal resources. The US Army is preparing to lease an additional 104 acres to the center for public greenspace and programs associated with the proposed Space Force Academy.