The CASIS headquarters houses four primary functions: conference & meeting spaces, office spaces, visitors exhibition, & education spaces. The conference program includes a large theater & the exhibition spaces include displays for the Destiny Module, a Dragon Capsule, & Cupola Pod. The payload control center is proposed to be relocated to this location to communicate with the International Space Station.
The project is initially composed of a public gesture which conceptually draws the ground through the building & up to a roof patio looking out over the East River. The facade is both split & combined, uncomfortably but spectacularly, representing the conflict but necessity of the publicly funded private organization, ‘CASIS’. Around the gesture, the building frames the sky, a foreign concept to a phone-centric culture. This dramatic frame ‘looking up’ begins to re-instill the former imagination associated with outer-space & prepares visitors to encounter the program housed within; an organization for the past & future of space experimentation. The visitor then journeys down from the roof patio, through the conceptually uprooted ground. The lobby directs visitors towards the conference or exhibit program zones, physically split by the diagonal to the sky. The exhibit path spirals through a sequence of discoveries, around a variety of spaces, & then towards the subterranean payload control center. Finally, the visitor reemerges from below the true ground back into the public realm.