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November 2002

Aircraft Interiors International

Softroom, The award-winning architectural firm behind a series of concepts for style magazine wallpaper, has launched an ongoing project that promises to be, at the very least, "out of this world". The London-based agency is currently developing schemes for a commercial space station to be constructed in low earth orbit by the Space Island Group.

The group plans to assemble a number of space stations over the coming decades, using the Space Shuttle's external fuel tank (ET) as the core building block. So far over 100 ETs have been discarded as the Shuttles enters orbit, but NASA has originally planned that the tank could be carried into space for construction purposes. Space Island will connect up to 12 ETs together to form a giant wheel rotating at 1rpm - generating one-third the gravity of Earth. Each ET has approximately the same internal volume as the forthcoming Airbus A380, and similarly could be fitted out with up to three decks.

Softroom believes there is a clear overlap between the disciplines of space station architecture and aircraft interior design. "Both share similar restrictions in terms of form and materiality as well as the ever-present demand for lightweight, efficient solutions." says managing director Oliver Salway.

Plans are now being finished for the Space Island Group's California HQ. which will house a visitor centre with station interior mock-ups, as well as facilities for engineering and design staff.

Aircraft Interiors International
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