space habitat
space habitat

Designed by The Design Compendium of Oklahoma City, OK, and constructed in the late 1980s, the Space Habitat at the Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, was one of the first major projects in the U.S. to use Curveline Inc.’s “crimp-curving” technology. And today, after all these years, it remains one of the most noteworthy curved panel projects ever constructed.

Metal building panels, innovatively curved to mimic the Space Station Freedom, enabled the project’s designers to create this space station on Earth to accommodate campers and counselors at the U.S. Space Camp.

Longer than a football field, the Space Habitat uses about 42,000 sq. ft. of 24-gauge curved panels and another 28,000 sq. ft. of 24-gauge flat panels. To achieve the desired space station look, the panels were curved into “S” shapes using the Curveline process and were finished with a silver paint system with a peel coat for extra protection.

According to the architect, Curveline’s ability to do multiple-radius curves enhanced the design. Instead of creating a system of separate tubes, which would have been required with other curving technologies, they were able to design curves that flowed into one another for a cleaner look.

Also, there were only two horizontal joints or seam-lines along the entire four-story structure, minimizing potential leakage problems – so the advantages were practical as well as aesthetic.

Canam Construction Co., Edmond, OK, was the project’s general contractor. Curveline Inc. is located in Ontario, CA.