Daniel Fordyce
Edinburgh, Scotland
University of Strathclyde

The space elevator. Capable of carrying heavy duty works of aerospace engineering and passengers alike from the ground to its space station at an extremely affordable cost of £20/lb, as opposed to the current cost of £2500/lb using rocket propulsion. The race to build the world’s first fully functioning space elevator was initiated by Obayashi Corporation in 2014, aiming to finish construction in Tokyo, Japan by 2050.

In a future where these space elevators are constructed all over the world and the use of electromagnetic propulsion greatly reduces transport times, a commercial aspect would then be realised. They would soon become an incredible tourist attraction and every major city would aim to have their own as a new form of income. Tokyo, Paris, New York and now Edinburgh will be next in line to construct this feat of engineering and architecture. Going a step further than competing cities, 15 km above the Ascender, just above the troposphere will reside Hotel Horizon, providing access to the Restaurant at the End of Alba.

The main purpose of the Ascender is to act as the anchor for the space elevator as well as provide quick access to Hotel Horizon and the city centre. Hence why it will be built using marble stone to blend the old design with the new and give it a cohesive appearance as well as signify its strength and stability.

Hotel Horizon was designed as a complete contrast to the Ascender using the worlds lightest 3D printed material, graphene aerogel, in combination with 3D printed carbon fibre to create in essence a super lightweight equivalent of reinforced concrete as the aerogel is great at withstanding compressive load and the carbon fibre components contain strong tensile properties.

The Restaurant at the End of Alba was named as a tip of the hat to famous novel series “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. This is to be the main attraction, an exclusive restaurant with a completely unique dining experience, a taster menu covering 20 different cultures and a host of different events available depending on the guests choice.

Since it is also tethered to the space elevator like the hotel, it meant that the circulation path had to be somewhat similar. This allowed the restaurant to feel familiar despite being designed under very different circumstances and undertaking challenges unlike any other.

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