Author Topic: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building  (Read 8089 times)

Offline collectSPACE

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HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« on: 10/07/2014 03:43 PM »
Architect proposes 'more fitting container' for Houston's Saturn V rocket
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-100614a-saturn-v-rocket-building.html

An architect with a self-professed interest in spaceflight has drafted a design to relaunch the display of a Saturn V moon rocket in Texas.

Brantley Hightower of San Antonio's HiWorks Architecture devised his concept for a new glass-fronted building after visiting the Apollo-era booster's current exhibit at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Since 2005, the 363-foot-long (110 meter) Saturn V has been displayed inside a "temporary" structure that was raised as part of a three-year restoration effort.

"You have no idea that the pinnacle of twentieth-century engineering is sitting inside that metal building," Hightower said in a release accompanying his design. "It's like they entombed [the rocket] and in doing so took away so much of the power it has to inspire."


See the article for more renderings of Hightower's proposed Saturn V building.

Online Lars-J

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #1 on: 10/07/2014 04:53 PM »
The current building may be a 'tomb', but that is far better than how the Saturn V was treated before - sitting out in the open. But the proposal looks nice.

Offline Wayne Hale

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #2 on: 10/07/2014 05:35 PM »
Send money.  SCH is strapped with fundraising for the SCA exhibit and NASA has none.  Rightfully this belongs to the Smithsonian.  Make your donation approprately.

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #3 on: 10/07/2014 05:50 PM »
The Smithsonian owns the rocket, but both JSC and Space Center Houston say the building and display responsibilities fall to JSC's exhibits division.

That doesn't mean that private funds can't be used to build a new facility, but it would have to be coordinated through NASA/JSC.

(The same thing was true in Florida and Alabama; the Smithsonian owns all three rockets but it fell to each center to arrange for the display buildings. KSC's and USSRC's were funded with non-public funds.)

SCH is strapped with fundraising for the SCA exhibit and NASA has none.

As both JSC and SCH are dedicated to completing the SCA exhibit, the Saturn V may have to wait until that fundraising effort is completed.
« Last Edit: 10/07/2014 06:05 PM by collectSPACE »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #4 on: 10/07/2014 06:59 PM »
When it comes to the treatment of the Saturn V over all these many years using a Texan expression “is all hat and no horse”...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline simonbp

Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #5 on: 10/07/2014 08:23 PM »
The current building may be a 'tomb', but that is far better than how the Saturn V was treated before - sitting out in the open. But the proposal looks nice.

And looks similar the facilities that the KSC and Huntsville Saturn Vs have had for several years now. The complete lack of interest in its own historical artifacts played no small role in the JSC Vistors Center not getting an orbiter.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #6 on: 10/08/2014 12:20 AM »
I think it looks really nice, I hope they get a chance to build and maintain it.

Hopefully the architect is one who designs for both looks and maintainability. I can think of some modern marvels that leak like a sieve. The MIT Stata center comes to mind...
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Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #7 on: 10/08/2014 12:44 AM »
The current building may be a 'tomb', but that is far better than how the Saturn V was treated before - sitting out in the open. But the proposal looks nice.

And looks similar the facilities that the KSC and Huntsville Saturn Vs have had for several years now. The complete lack of interest in its own historical artifacts played no small role in the JSC Vistors Center not getting an orbiter.

Yeah, this looks remarkably similar to the Huntsville display
And this is a good reminder that just because one of your fellow space enthusiasts occasionally voices doubts about the SpaceX schedule announcements or is cautious about believing SpaceX has licked a problem before actually seeing proof that's true, it doesn't mean they hate SpaceX.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #8 on: 10/08/2014 12:55 AM »
How many rich oil men are there in Texas and none of them wants to be a benefactor towards preserving a national artifact?  A proper enclosure should have happened years ago...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #9 on: 10/08/2014 01:31 AM »
One critical comment, the building looks to have three roofs that meet at different elevations. What are the chances over time they will leak at those interfaces?
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #10 on: 10/08/2014 02:35 AM »
How many rich oil men are there in Texas and none of them wants to be a benefactor towards preserving a national artifact?  A proper enclosure should have happened years ago...

There is lots of money in the Houston area. But it takes a skilled fundraiser to tap it. The way to do it is to get a couple of famous Apollo astronauts on board and then walk them into some oil company HQs and ask for money. Play up the patriotism angle and all that. But if it was that easy, somebody would have done it already. You need a fundraiser who knows how to do that stuff and they are rare. Also, I suspect that part of the problem is that JSC is down in Clear Lake and not closer to the city itself. I don't think people in Houston think of Clear Lake as "Houston," and they would rather drive over to one of the museums in the city for a nice black tie event than head down 25, past the strip clubs and car dealerships, to Clear Lake.

Offline manboy

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #11 on: 10/08/2014 06:44 AM »
The current building may be a 'tomb', but that is far better than how the Saturn V was treated before - sitting out in the open. But the proposal looks nice.
I typically try to avoid dropping any hints that disclose my age. But I remember when nine-year-old me got to see the Saturn V, it was just sitting in a field and rusting. I recall it rained in Houston that day and I didn't understand why no one bothered to build a roof to protect it from rain or hail.
« Last Edit: 10/08/2014 06:49 AM by manboy »
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #12 on: 10/08/2014 10:11 AM »
How many rich oil men are there in Texas and none of them wants to be a benefactor towards preserving a national artifact?  A proper enclosure should have happened years ago...

There is lots of money in the Houston area. But it takes a skilled fundraiser to tap it. The way to do it is to get a couple of famous Apollo astronauts on board and then walk them into some oil company HQs and ask for money. Play up the patriotism angle and all that. But if it was that easy, somebody would have done it already. You need a fundraiser who knows how to do that stuff and they are rare. Also, I suspect that part of the problem is that JSC is down in Clear Lake and not closer to the city itself. I don't think people in Houston think of Clear Lake as "Houston," and they would rather drive over to one of the museums in the city for a nice black tie event than head down 25, past the strip clubs and car dealerships, to Clear Lake.
Knowing this JSC had no reason crying that they didn't get an Orbiter...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #13 on: 10/08/2014 12:05 PM »
The current building may be a 'tomb', but that is far better than how the Saturn V was treated before - sitting out in the open. But the proposal looks nice.
I typically try to avoid dropping any hints that disclose my age. But I remember when nine-year-old me got to see the Saturn V, it was just sitting in a field and rusting. I recall it rained in Houston that day and I didn't understand why no one bothered to build a roof to protect it from rain or hail.

I do think both they were ignored/treated poorly for awhile. But if you visit the Huntsville and KSC facilities today, they are pretty amazing. It is still impressive to me that so many people spent so much money to do a really good job to preserve those artifacts.

The one that needs help is the S-IC stage outside at Michoud. That should properly be indoors. I think the right place for that is the Stennis visitors' center.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #14 on: 10/08/2014 02:01 PM »

The one that needs help is the S-IC stage outside at Michoud. That should properly be indoors. I think the right place for that is the Stennis visitors' center.

It's interesting they don't have some sort of heritage protection law, like the old steam engines do in the UK. The National Railway Museum here in York is government funded and all the old famous steam engines are protected like rock stars there (a few below, massive place, hundreds of engines) - and they are trying to grab all the old abandoned ones from places like India for restoration.

Amazing there's any Saturn V rocket stages that are in need of help.
« Last Edit: 10/08/2014 02:01 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #15 on: 10/08/2014 03:05 PM »
There are laws, and projects and all that. But ultimately it comes down to money and attention.

Offline Bubbinski

Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #16 on: 10/08/2014 05:45 PM »
Next time I go to Houston (sometime in the next 2-3 years) I'll pay that Saturn a visit.

I saw that Saturn at JSC over 20 years ago, it was still rusting outdoors.  Glad it's in a building now.  If a new glass building can't be made for it, could a giant mural of a Saturn launch painted on the building be doable?  That would also get people's attention.

Edited: I read the article, there is in fact a giant mural, on the back side. 
« Last Edit: 10/08/2014 05:48 PM by Bubbinski »
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #17 on: 10/08/2014 06:12 PM »
...there is in fact a giant mural, on the back side. 

Indeed, there is.

Offline FuseUpHereAlone

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #18 on: 10/08/2014 06:13 PM »
How many rich oil men are there in Texas and none of them wants to be a benefactor towards preserving a national artifact?  A proper enclosure should have happened years ago...

There is lots of money in the Houston area. But it takes a skilled fundraiser to tap it. The way to do it is to get a couple of famous Apollo astronauts on board and then walk them into some oil company HQs and ask for money. Play up the patriotism angle and all that. But if it was that easy, somebody would have done it already. You need a fundraiser who knows how to do that stuff and they are rare. Also, I suspect that part of the problem is that JSC is down in Clear Lake and not closer to the city itself. I don't think people in Houston think of Clear Lake as "Houston," and they would rather drive over to one of the museums in the city for a nice black tie event than head down 25, past the strip clubs and car dealerships, to Clear Lake.
Knowing this JSC had no reason crying that they didn't get an Orbiter...

Funny...this is the same argument that Dwayne Day made a few years ago in the aftermath of the Orbiter display selection controversy.
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2127/1

Quote
What is more dismaying is that the building containing the Saturn V is starting to deteriorate. Interior insulation is starting to crack and peel, showing considerable degradation from my last visit a year ago. This simply reinforces the impression that the Saturn V is being stored in a big garage.

Houston has had the Saturn V for decades. It has housed it indoors for almost seven years, and yet the city has not improved the presentation or shown any indication that it intends to display the Saturn V with any of the affection and intelligence that the Kennedy and Huntsville communities have given to their Saturn Vs. If you look at what Houston has done it is hard not to wonder if they would have treated a shuttle orbiter with the same indifference.

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: HiWorks proposal for Houston's Saturn V building
« Reply #19 on: 10/08/2014 07:43 PM »
Hose it.  Lets just get a 3d metal printer and start printing a new one up.  Probibly take a number of years, but the Saturn V was our first true HLLV.
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