Headlines > News > Architectural Firms Invited to Bid on Spaceport America Terminal

Architectural Firms Invited to Bid on Spaceport America Terminal

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Thu May 3, 2007 9:35 pm
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The New Mexico Spaceport Authority is inviting architectural firms to compete for the design of Spaceport America’s terminal and hangar facility, which will be the operations base for Virgin Galactic, announced Rick Homans, Executive Director of the Authority.

“This competition represents a unique opportunity to design the centerpiece of the world’s first, purpose-built, commercial spaceport,” Homans said. “The winning firm will be able to deliver a design that complements the natural surroundings, meets the highest environmental standards and imprints upon visitors a stunning and memorable experience.”

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority has retained Roger Schluntz, FAIA, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico, to be the principal advisor on the competition.

“We are seeking qualified firms and exceptional design talent — reaching through New Mexico, North America, in fact the world — that will be able to meet the very high expectations of the Spaceport America leadership team,” said Schluntz. “The Governor and the State of New Mexico are also desirous of a project that will meet stringent standards related to issues of sustainable design. In high-profile competitions such as this, it is not unusual for some of the applicant firms to form associations or joint ventures in seeking this important commission. ”

The terminal and hangar facility is projected to be approximately 100,000 square feet, and it will contain the operations offices of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, hangar space for aircraft and spacecraft, and Virgin Galactic’s operations facilities, including pre-flight and post-flight facilities and administrative offices.

The entire facility is projected to cost $25.7 million. Virgin Galactic intends to sign a 20-year lease for approximately 84,000 square feet in the building.

The selection process for the lead design/architectural firm will be conducted in two stages:

Phase One of the selection process will include a formal response, with a submission of the firm’s qualifications. Deadline for submissions is May 25th at 2:00 p.m. MST.

Phase Two of the selection process will include a limited design competition of the three highest ranked respondents from Phase One. The winning firm is expected to be chosen by the end of July, 2007.

Each of the three finalists will be awarded a stipend of $40,000 as partial compensation for costs incurred during their competition efforts. This phase of the selection process will entail approximately five weeks, and will include a site visit and meetings with the users and State officials.

Homans said the NM Spaceport Authority will break ground on Spaceport America in early 2008, as soon as the site operator’s license is received from the Federal Aviation Administration. The spaceport is expected to be operational in late 2009 or early 2010.

A copy of the Request for Proposals will be available by close of business on April 27th at www.SpaceportAmerica.com.

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