CASIS manages the International Space Station (ISS) and serves as a liaison between NASA and the public. However, the ISS is planned to be decommissioned in 2030. Thus the future of CASIS as an institution is uncertain. Recognizing this temporal condition the design introduces a public space into the program in order to sustain function in case of future disruptions in the core institutional activity.
The design encompasses of a simple volume; within it an embedded mass that houses the exhibition spaces and a suspended mass that holds the offices and control center. As such the middle space becomes a generous public space that gently rises from the entry and leads up to a view of the east river. The entire volume is also organized around two sunken courtyards that bring light into the underground exhibition areas, the middle public platform and the work spaces above.