Alumnus and top architect Xavier De Kestelier thinks about architecture on the moon

©Hassell (large view)

©Hassell

(19-04-2021) 'Architects should play an important role in space travel', says Xavier De Kestelier, a native of Ghent and top architect in London.

In NASA, which is dominated by engineers and professional astronauts, the aspect of 'comfort' is quickly minimised. The longer people stay in space, and the more ordinary citizens and scientists leave Earth, the more that mentality is likely to change. It has to be about more than mere survival', says De Kestelier in De Tijd newspaper. Architects are very well placed to design spaces on earth. Why not in space?

He is currently working on a project for ESA's Open Space Innovation Platform. It is not just about a habitat on the moon, but about a master plan for the coming decades. The project examines what the first four astronauts on the moon will need. Things like solar panels, transport, landing pads, an infirmary, living quarters. The question is how to adapt that for twenty people, then for fifty, and so on. Which building do you put first and what's next? For four people you don't need a special social space, for twenty you might.'

De Kestelier is Head of Design Technology and Innovation at the international architectural firm Hassell Studio and studied civil engineering architecture at UGent.

Read the full article in De Tijd (Dutch)