As a first time guest to ‘ The Space Place’ you’re treated to a “Special Presentation”…. You enter a darkened room, guided only by the glow the light saber you’re carrying. As door closes, you are plunged into total darkness. Within seconds you hear a soft, musical ‘chime’ and the familiar voice of Captain James T. Kirk: “Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its five year mission…”
Still in total darkness, Goosebumps are now forming as your anticipation builds. Captain Kirk finishes: …”to boldly go where no man as gone before!” At that exact moment, the music shifts to the dramatic Star Wars main title, as the lights come up and a number of systems jump into action.
Control Panels illuminate, arch lights in the walls and ceiling flicker to full brightness. The red circular lights in the floor invite you to step up to the main deck and plot your course through the universe of stars ahead of you.
Is this a low budget B-Movie set? … or an unusual amusement attraction? No, this is a room, in the lower level of my home. A theme room that I transformed into a “starship” ~ a playroom for my young children and their friends.
Over two years in the making, the creation of “The Space Place” has been an adventure in itself. Sometimes the construction was ‘laid back’ and casual, other times it was extremely frustrating as I came up against a few “situations”. I unveiled The Space Place on Christmas Eve.
Most of the The Space Place came from odds and ends found at local surplus stores. It was always fun to find something that looked unique, then figure out how it could ‘fit’ into the design. For example, look closely at the chairs: you’ll see a ‘modified’ office chair. (Which were donated from a local business…. NO materials were obtained through dumpster diving!)
As I dove deeper into the project, I were always sketching or photographing ‘common’ items in an attempt to find more ‘space material’ for the room.
Star Trek or Star Wars ?
If you are a Star Wars OR Star Trek “purest”, you may be a bit confused when you spend some time in the Space Place. You’ll note the panels have the look of the LCARS control panels used in the Star Trek series.
Then you’ll look at the red illuminated circles on the three steps and realize that they are directly from Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back. I didn’t attempt to maintain continuity. Sorry, if I’ve offended any ‘major’ fans!
The Sleeping Pods ~ To the right of the Main Deck are two sleeping pods. The original design had automatic sliding ‘doors’ that would raise and lower using motors and a series of pulleys. I actually had one side functioning, but scrapped the idea when I decided it was too dangerous. Safety is ALWAYS the prime directive!
Escape Pod / Shuttle Craft
On the left wall, along the floor, you’ll find a small door that leads to an “escape pod”. This is actually the area of my home that goes below the stairs. It’s quite large and doubles as a “Storm / Tornado shelter”. Don’t laugh, we do have tornadoes in Minnesota! A few years ago, my home was damaged in a small tornado… The Space Place …was unscathed!
The Space Place ~ Page Links
|Intro & Inspiration|
|Main Deck||<< You are Here|
|Concepts & Construction|
|Star Field ~ On Stage|
|Star Field ~ Off Stage|
|Control Panels ~ On Stage|
|Control Panels ~ Off Stage|