by Cristian Andrei Bădescu
The (self)imposed challenge of the brief was finding a feasible way to take an activity that is widely regarded as dangerous and restricted accordingly, and to implement it within the urban fabric as a high quality public space.
The idea of a park presented itself at quite an early stage in the design process – its intrinsic tranquillity acting as a counterweight to the rumble and violence of a rocket. The Mountain and the Lake were also a natural consequence of the need to design limits and safe zones only through the alteration of the landscape. Furthermore, in a city like Bucharest, where the natural topography has been almost completely flattened out in recent history, a man-made mountain would undoubtedly act as a point of interest.
The rocket itself houses only a small crew of up to 6 people and much of its flight and landing procedures are computer controlled – therefore, the actual building required is in fact quite small in size. Consequently, this in its turn leads to the the Spaceport terminal becoming a small gemstone sitting at the edge of the Lake.
In order to enrich the Mountain with meaning and purpose, a strong connection with the astral environment was deemed not only appropriate, but rather necessary. The terminal building is aligned with the summer solstice sunrise, acknowledging a date that has been regarded as sacred since time immemorial. Similarly, the ventilation shafts of the road tunnel mark both the summer and the winter solstice.