Space Xperience Curacao

Space Xperience Curacao

VAA.ONL - the innovation studio of VAA.
Hato, Netherlands Antilles
Project Year

The Curacao Ambition

VAA.ONL - the innovation studio of VAA. as Architects

KLM joins forces with Space Xperience Curacao to endorse commercial space travelling from the Space Xperience Centre, designed by Dutch architecture firm ONL [Oosterhuis_Lénárd]

On the 17th of November, Dutch aviation company KLM announced their plans to start facilitating commercial space travel on a short term, in combination with Space Xperience Curacao, a company founded by Ben Droste, former commander in chief of the Dutch aviation forces and Harry van Hulten a F-16 pilot. This news was picked up by all of the major national media in the Netherlands soon after.

The Space Xperience Curacao has the objective to develop an international centre for commercial space travel and space research, located next to the Hato Airport on Curacao. From this location the XCOR Lynx spacecraft, developed by XCOR Aerospace, will start with commercial services as soon as 2014. KLM is going to endorse these services by selling tickets for these flights into space and incorporating them into their frequent flyer program and their holiday packages to Curacao. The Space Xperience Centre, from which these flights are going to depart, was designed by the Dutch architecture firm ONL [Oosterhuis_Lénárd]

Spaceship The building for the Space Xperience Centre was designed like a spaceship, in which advanced techniques from the aviation and and maritime design industry were used to shape the building volume. The SXC, being a space research centre as well as a spaceport, has to be an attractive building for both the international scientific community and future astronauts, as well as (space) tourists and regular visitors. In order to design this duality, The building body of the SXC spaceship is conceived as to evoke the power of the rocket engines to take a spaceship into outer space, and at the same time evoke the lightness of the Lynx spacecraft swirling down to Earth. The shape of the SXC evokes strength and elegance, boldness and sensitivity. The design and the styling of the SXC spaceship is intentionally related to state-of-the-art developments in automotive, naval, aerospace and environmental design. Hereby the design for the SXC gives expression to the pioneering and daring mentality the Space Xperience Curacao initiative stands for.

Routing The spatial design for the SXC is determined by the routing through the building, which is inspired by the flight of the Lynx spacecraft. The route through the building is meant to be an unforgettable experience for the visitor, a thrill which rivals the excitement of the astronauts making the 100km trip into outer space, but with different means. Upon entering into the SXC the visitor is transported to the highest point in the building by means of a capsule, from here the immersive Space Xperience starts. The route through the Space Xperience gradually spirals downwards, resembling the gliding descent of the Lynx back to earth. With each rotation, the route grows wider and the experienced themes become bigger in scale and more universal in nature. From the International Space Station to the Lynx spacecraft, from the Earth’ atmosphere and global climate change to the expanding Universe and so on. Until the visitor returns to the place where it all started and holds a memorable Experience from the Space Xperience Curacao, almost as impressive as an actual flight in to outer space.

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