Next time that you’re waiting for your trip to space, you’ll be able to do so in style. Well fine, space travel is still a few decades away for us meager mortals, but at the very least, we can marvel at the beautiful and science-fiction inspired designs for the New Mexico Spaceport Authority building from Foster + Partners which not only aim to make you get into the mood for space travel, they will also meet LEED platinum standards when finished.

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The winning team, led by Foster + Partners and which includes URS, SMPC Architects, PHA Consult, Balis and Company and Exploration-Synthesis Partners, worked hard to provide a setting which would capture the drama of space flight, something which, I think that we can all agree, they succeeded on all counts.

But here at Inhabitat, we like to think that pretty pictures and great design should go hand in hand with incredible environmental performance, and this particular building does, in spades. The entire building was dug into the natural landscape to better use the thermal mass provided by the ground. It has also been designed with reducing not just its energy usage by using skylights and natural ventilation, but to diminish the actual embodied energy of the building materials as much as possible (something which you’ll be hearing much more from the more cutting-edge designs as they come down the line).

We hope that future spaceport developments look at this design, not as the best that they can do, but rather, as a minimum from where to start their work from. We are sure that they can figure it out, after all, they will have a building full of rocket scientists to do so.