Gilmour Space Technologies 



Common was engaged to undertake the design of Australia’s first advanced manufacturing facility for space vehicles.

The project was initiated by Gilmour Space Technologies as a part of the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative, with the ambition of establishing a purpose-built facility for the production orbital rockets capable of delivering commercial payloads into space.

The advanced manufacturing facility is an emerging 21st Century architectural typology. In contrast to traditional approaches, advanced manufacturing describes digitalisation through design to fabrication and assembly of components and products, and integration across the entire production value chain. This involves the close coupling of design to rapid prototyping and production of a limited run of high value end products. Design and management teams, are co-located with the production floor allowing for a rapid, iterative feedback loop between design and production. There are relatively few examples of these kinds of facilities worldwide. The folding of all aspects of manufacturing to a single location has major implications for architecture and urbanism.

The project involved an extended period of brief development and feasibility analysis, carried out in partnership with RMIT Architecture, to understand the spatial and urban requirements to accommodate the production processes required to build an orbital vehicle. The facility integrates all stages of the design, testing and production processes for rocket bodies, engines, guidance and avionics systems. Staff offices, event spaces and mission control facilities are closely coupled to the production spaces of the building.

The project is a collaboration between a consortium of private companies in the space industry, along with universities and research partners. The project includes a dedicated collaborative space for the research, development and testing of emerging space technology in Australia.

The project has received funding from the Queensland Government and Commonwealth Government Modern Manufacturing Initiative Funding Scheme and is under development.