National Space Centre, Rocket Tower, Leicester, UK. Architect: Nicholas Grimshaw, 2001
Semi-transparent ETFE pillows clad the tower
South facing ETFE has a metallic treatment to reduce solar gain
The Rocket Tower contains Blue Streak and PGM-17 Thor rockets visible through the building skin
The rear of the building opens at full height to allow changing of large exhibits
The centre has six main galleries of which the Rocket Tower is one
I used to work at Grimshaw at the end of the 1990’s and ETFE (A transparent durable plastic suitable for making buildings) was flavour of the month after the massive success of the Eden Project. The National Space Centre was built just after the Eden Project clad in the same ETFE pillows, but running longitudinally around the building in rings as opposed to the the hexagonal pillows of the Eden Project.