Nasa Orbit Pavilion by STUDIOKCA

Nasa Orbit Pavilion

Do you remember putting a shell up to your ear to “listen to the ocean”? What if you could walk into a massive shell and listen to the sounds of space- or rather, a symphony built out of the sounds of satellites in space?

Nasa Orbit Pavilion
Photo Courtesy of STUDIOKCA

This was what STUDIOKCA principals Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang proposed when commissioned by NASA to design a traveling pavilion where the invisible sounds and trajectories of 19 NASA satellites orbiting and monitoring the Earth 24/7, could be experienced.

Nasa Orbit Pavilion
Photo Courtesy of NASAJPL

Building on this childhood memory, they created a nautilus-shaped structure using 3,500 sf of water-jet cut aluminum panels scribed with over 100 “orbital paths” fitted together and bolted to a curved framework of aluminum tubes. The structure defines a 30’ diameter inner space with a large oculus at its center.

Nasa Orbit Pavilion
Photo Courtesy of NASAJPL

By employing an array of speakers within this space, programmed by artist and composer Shane Myrbeck to map, translate, and then broadcast the sounds of these satellites, the team created a “3d sound chamber” visitors can enter into and listen to the sounds of NASA’s satellites as they fly over, under and around them, in real time.

Nasa Orbit Pavilion
Photo Courtesy of STUDIOKCA

The surface perforations echo the orbital paths of the satellites, culminating around the oculus at the center of the sound chamber, while helping to mitigate exterior noise and decrease wind loads on the relatively light structure. Source by STUDIOKCA.

Nasa Orbit Pavilion
Photo Courtesy of STUDIOKCA
  • Client: NASA
  • Architects: STUDIOKCA
  • Principal: Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang
  • Sound Composition: Shane Myrbeck (ARUP)
  • Creative Strategy: Dan Goods and David Delgado (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Structural Engineering: Ryan Miller (SILMAN)
  • Video: Luma Projects
  • Area: 1100 square feet
  • Photographs: David Delgado, Courtesy of NASAJPL and STUDIOKCA
Nasa Orbit Pavilion
Photo Courtesy of NASAJPL
Nasa Orbit Pavilion
Photo © David Delgado
Nasa Orbit Pavilion
Photo Courtesy of NASAJPL
Nasa Orbit Pavilion
Photo Courtesy of STUDIOKCA

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