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Joseph Brennan

Scottish Exploration of the Cosmos

Glasgow is a growing centre for Scotland and Europe’s space industry, with manufacturers of satellites and space exploration components established in the city. The Glasgow Space Centre provides an established Glasgow-based satellite manufacturer with new state-of-the-art production facilities, while also creating a new museum of space and space exploration.

Govan Graving Docks is a grade-A listed historic site adjacent to the River Clyde, located between the historic neighbourhood of Govan and the growing Riverside museum quarter. The Graving Docks, which could be flooded and drained as required, were used for the maintenance and repair of ocean-going ships, which formed the backbone of Glasgow’s international trade. With Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry in decline, this project imagines a new use for these vast structures, which will be drained and re-imagined as exhibition halls and factories for space exploration.

The ground between two of the docks will be sensitively excavated to provide a new subterranean entrance hall, which will provide below-ground access through new labyrinthine tunnels to the exhibition halls. Entering the three new halls, visitors will discover lightweight ETFE-clad structures enclosing the newly restored docks, providing exhibition halls of almost three hundred metres in length. Artefacts of mankind’s exploration of the cosmos will be suspended and exhibited in these spaces. The centrepiece of the exhibitions will be the mighty Saturn V, the first rocket to propel American astronauts to the Moon.

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Stephen Johnson