By Edith Cherry and James See – May 20, 2022
Address: Upham, New Mexico
Access: See Website
Spaceport America, located 30 miles southeast of Truth or Consequences in the Jornada del Muerto desert, is the first commercial spaceport built in the world. The location, near historic El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, offers plenty of area for both vertical and horizontal takeoffs for space travel.
The major architectural feature of the complex is the “Gateway to Space” hangar facility. The undulating, earth-colored roof and the adjacent earth berms provide a profile that mimics the rolling plains of the high desert terrain.
The hangar portion of the building, with the required clear span ceiling, allows for air and spacecraft capable of reaching the edge of space. The Gaia Lounge and Dining area is glazed and faces east toward the runways and takeoff areas. These landscape views are the same enjoyed by explorers from the late 16th century through today.
A support facility includes a fire station, and other maintenance functions. This facility is domed, preserving the overall image of the complex.
Design Architect: Foster + Partners Website
Executive Architect: SMPC Architects Website
Contractor: Summit West
Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture (2014)
American Institute of Architects, Western Mountain Region Merit Award (2014)American Institute of Architects, Albuquerque Chapter, Merit AwardAmerican Institute of Architects, Design Awards Program, New Mexico Student Jury, UNM School of Architecture + Planning (2014)American Council of Engineering Companies, Engineering Excellence Award (2013)NAIOP Award of Excellence, Eagle Award, Industrial Category
Special thanks to Alice Carruth, Public Relations Coordinator, New Mexico Spaceport Authority for her assistance with this post.
4:12 Minute Video on New Mexico Space History
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