Industry News

By Jeff Mottle

Visualizing Spaceport America Before It Was Built To Offer Space Tourists an Enhanced Experience

Enscape, a leading provider of 3D real-time rendering, visualization, and virtual reality technology for the global AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry, today announced Viewport Studio, an award-winning architecture and design studio based in London and Singapore, tapped Enscape to improve their design workflow for the interiors of Spaceport America and to ensure future astronauts and space tourists would enjoy an enhanced customer experience. Live visualizations and virtual reality were essential for design decisions, identifying potential problems, and presenting solutions to the client before building the ground floor and restaurants and the first floor of the spaceship control room and office. 
Based in New Mexico, United States, Spaceport America is the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport and home to some of the biggest names in the commercial space industry. "We were tasked with designing something that had never been designed before," explained Gautier Pelegrin, Director of Viewport Studio. “Enscape supported us in testing, experiencing, and presenting our concepts to the client with speed in producing media that we never experienced before. The virtual reality function quickly became a staple in all our meetings. It helped to reduce testing iterations by at least 20 percent and also allowed us to check the simple ergonomics of the bespoke furniture we designed.”

The video walkthroughs available with Enscape allowed Viewport Studio to show the client why some initial requests would not work. For example, the mock-up of the big barista coffee station in the middle of the space revealed that staff would have difficulty reaching the customer on the other side of the table. This 3D visualization allowed them to eliminate a problem and amend its dimension before it was built. 
Enscape was also beneficial to evaluate the sunlight that would hit and reflect from the glass windows and the monitors in the control room, resulting in the choice to use opaque glass and curtains. 
3D renderings also made collaborating with external teams a more effortless experience.  Viewport Studio worked with a local botanist to see what type of plants could be ideal in the space, creating renderings to test where light would hit the planters, which helped to determine whether having certain plants was feasible in certain areas.
Enscape’s virtual reality feature was crucial in designing the “Astrowalk,” a long-mirrored walkway that runs from the spaceport’s main door, to determine if family and friends of the future astronauts would be able to see them head towards the spacecraft from where they would be seated. 
Ensuring space tourists enjoyed an unparalleled customer experience was imperative to the design of this project, and functions such as live visualizations and virtual reality offered in Enscape allowed Viewport Studio to confirm their design choices would meet this requirement. 
“Viewport Studio’s interior design project for Spaceport America is truly a remarkable achievement,” commented Christian Lang, CEO at Enscape. “We are happy that the architects and designers at Viewport Studio were able to benefit from Enscape’s technology for an enhanced experienced and help them visualize their ideas and present design options to their client, also allowing them to make quick amendments to the project in a fast and efficient way.”
For more information, read the blog post: A Mission Like No Other: Designing Spaceport America
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Viewport Studio Benefits From Enscape’s Real-Time Rendering Technology for Important Design Decisions of the World's First Purpose-Built Spaceport

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About the author

Jeff Mottle

Founder at CGarchitect

placeCalgary, CA