Chosun interviews Korean designer of world’s first commercial spaceport

Ye Olde Chosun ran a story on architect Paik Joon, who designed the tres cool Spaceport America in New Mexico, the world’s first commercial space port.

The very futuristic building is apparently owned by the State of New Mexico, but the anchor tenant is Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. It’s a pretty impressive place—thanks to its use of earth tubes, it can maintain an internal temperature of 17 degrees even without air conditioning, despite its location in the middle of the desert.

Paik—whom left for the States when he was 15—has been active mostly in the UK, where he’s worked for Foster + Partners for 12 years.

  • dogbertt

    17 degrees? That’s quite cold.

  • Arghaeri

    Can maintain, not does maintain.

  • gbnhj

    Earth tubes are a type of ground-coupled heat exchanger. I’m sure that’s 17ºC.

    By the way, the Fahrenheit scale has got to be one of the stupidest conventions ever conceived: the zero point on the scale is the temperature of the 1:1:1 mix of water, ice (because it’s so different from water, right?), and ammonium chloride. That’s right – equal amounts of water, ice and salt. The fact that this mixture in no way represents anything seen in nature, and results in an odd scale apparently did not bother Fahrenheit (nor some older Americans).

    Fahrenheit chose it because, well, he didn’t much know what he should use as a base, but he knew another guy (Ole Rømer) was doing something similar with brine. So he copied him. Basically, the Fahrenhiet system exists because a guy who was stuck for an idea copied a crappy one from someone else to make something that other guys were already working on.

  • dogbertt

    It serves its purpose.

    Of course I knew the reference was to Celsius. I was (a) making a sly jab at Robert for going even more native; and (b) trolling to get an indignant response, which I thought would come from some Commonwealth clown, but reeled in you instead and got a Wikipedia lesson in the bargain.

  • gbnhj

    Hey, no indignity intended – sorry if it came across that way. Actually, though, that’s a ‘Bill Bryson lesson’. His A Short History of Nearly Everything is a really good read, and, while touching on a lot of subjects, manages to stay both informative and interesting. A great book for generalists such as myself, but also helpful for any folks wondering why they’re still working with an outmoded system of measurement. :)