Rocket Lab Auckland Production Complex
The original brief comprised of a new facility made up of three parts, the creation of a new reception zone to showcase everything Rocket Lab is about, from high end design to creating a bespoke product to deliver the specific requirements for each small satellite launch clients.
The second zone was to support Rocket Lab’s most important asset – their people. This zone would be more than just office space – rather it was about creating a workplace environment to enhance connectivity and creativity, a place where the impossible would be challenged and conquered and most of all it would become an inspiring place to work in.
The third zone was the production incubator – a high-end rocket factory where ideas were to be transformed into reality and constructed to the highest international standards. Designgroup Stapleton Elliott (DGSE) worked in close partnership with Rocket Lab for the first zone, with the second and third zones primarily designed and managed internally by Rocket Lab.
All three zones would collectively become the showcase for what Rocket Lab is all about. Spaces would engage both staff and clients in facilities that would reflect and support Rocket Lab’s mission, without compromise.
Mission Control would be the nerve centre of the operation for Rocket Lab’s launch sites around the world. Mission Control and its surroundings called for a dynamic space for staff and visitors to be transported into the exciting future of space exploration, opportunity and discovery.
There is a theatre about the space, a sense of anticipation and reveal, like scenes in a movie. Early influences included, 2001: A Space Odyssey, both with its obvious space connection as well as it’s cinematography. Rocket Lab and DGSE investigated and developed experimental environments, challenging the notion of gravity by celebrating spatial fluidity where surface and embedded light in floors, walls and ceilings merge together to create a transformative environment. Central to the design was the Oculus. It’s the visual pivot point of main space and is dramatically formed by spiralling angled walls rising from the entrance portal. A scale model Electron rocket was installed in the reception area, with the top of the rocket penetrating through the ceiling. The rocket installation creates a real ‘wow’ factor for visitors entering the facility.