Space Centre plaza

New public realm welcome space at the National Space Centre


Space Centre Plaza


Leicester, Leicestershire


Leicester City Council

Construction Value



Lathams were commissioned by Leicester City Council to design this public realm improvement scheme at the entrance to the National Space Centre. The new plaza connects the museum with the neighbouring Abbey Pumping Station, the new Space Park enterprise centre, and links to the riverside recreational route along the banks of the River Soar.

The new plaza features a high quality palette of materials that includes natural stone paving of granite and porphyry, with stainless steel street furniture and timber benches. A series of rain gardens with soft planting enlivens the scheme, and creates added visual attraction for visitors passing through or resting within the space.

Inspired by the pinwheel galaxy motif referenced in the design of the National Space Centre building, the new layout create an enhanced setting for the Spaceman sculpture at the heard of the space. The statue is of Ed White, the first American to walk in space, and etched into the paving at the base of the statue are words inspired by visitors to the Space Centre: the characteristics required to be a great space explorer.

Client Reaction

We are very proud of the transformation of the new plaza entrance to the National Space Centre, which is now a fitting node between three destinations in Leicester with the gravity-defying statue at its heart