Life on Earth and Beyond: The Voyager Station and Gaia Featured in Journal #370

With Graphis Journal #370 now available to pre-order, we celebrate our newest publication with two architectural marvels that will change where and how humans spend their time, one in outer space and the other back on earth.

The Voyager Station (above) was developed by the Gateway Foundation and the Orbital Assembly Corporation; it hopes to be the world’s first spaceport. Its design and technology are inspired by Wernher von Braun, a German-American rocket scientist who worked for both Nazi Germany and NASA. He was an early proponent of creating a gently orbiting space station that would use centrifugal force to generate gravity for those inside. The developers of the station envision it to be a place where both scientists and tourists can experience life in space while surrounded by all the amenities of Earth, including restaurants, bars, gyms, and concert venues. There will also be opportunities for those aboard to experience space with reduced gravity activities that will allow them to jump and move in ways that aren’t possible on Earth.

As for its structure, the Voyager Station will consist of two concentric structural rings fixed together with a set of spokes, which will support a Habitation Ring. The inner ring, or docking hub, would allow visiting spacecraft to unload passengers and cargo. The outer ring truss would serve as structural support with solar panels, radiators, a rail transport system, and a pedestrian access tube. The Habitation Ring would be made up of individual pods that could be used as eating and entertainment areas or privately owned modules that could be rented out for vacations. The Orbital Assembly Corporation said it’s planning for the majority of the station to be built in space using robots. They’re projecting that the basic structure will be finished in 2025, and will be fully operational in 2027.

If outer space isn’t your thing, maybe consider changing your lifestyle on Earth by purchasing Gaia by Pin-Up Houses (above). Gaia was designed by architect Joshua Woodsman of Pin-Up Houses and is an ingenious, self-sufficient house. Gaia is made up of a 6-meter shipping container with 132 square feet of interior living space. The interior has spruce plywood and wooden studs and is sprayed with thermal insulation to ensure a comfortable temperature throughout the year. To build Gaia, Woodsman estimates that it takes about $21,000 and three months.

Gaia includes a convertible sofa bed and an outdoor terrace that can be folded up to cover the sliding glass doors during inclement weather; the terrace and open doors also help to let in light and air into the small living space. Each house also has cleverly designed built-in storage nooks throughout, and it has enough room for a small table and two chairs. A source of energy and water is not an issue, as Gaia has solar panels and a wind turbine that powers the refrigerator, water heater, and other appliances. For protection, the roof is covered with a galvanized corrugated metal sheet that extends beyond the container’s structure to increase rainwater capture. Rainwater is then filtered and stored in a 1,000-liter water tank and distributed for use in the kitchen and bathroom. The house’s power level can be monitored through a mobile app; the one thing the owners must figure out is how to tap into Wi-Fi.

To learn more about new buildings on Earth and beyond, pre-order Graphis Journal #370 at graphis.com.

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