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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Planetarium
  4. United States
  5. Anmahian Winton Architects
  6. 2015
  7. Gemma Observatory / Anmahian Winton Architects

Gemma Observatory / Anmahian Winton Architects

  • 09:00 - 22 December, 2017
Gemma Observatory / Anmahian Winton Architects
Gemma Observatory / Anmahian Winton Architects, Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects
Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects

Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects + 17

  • Architects

  • Location

    New Hampshire, United States
  • Anmahian Winton Architects

    Alex Anmahian AIA, Nick Winton AIA
  • Project Manager

    Mazen Sakr
  • Team

    Anika Gramsey, Travis Williams
  • Area

    2130.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2015
  • 
General Contractor

    Patriots
  • Builders

    Scott Estabrooks
  • 
Structural Engineers

    RSE, Associates, Inc. - Sofya Auren
  • P E 
Technical Motion Engineers

    Gillespie Corp. 
Rotating
  • Rail Mechanism

    THK 
Metal
  • Installers

    Crocker Architectural Sheet Metal Co., Inc. 

  • More Specs Less Specs
Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects
Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects

Text description provided by the architects. This private astronomical observatory is located on a remote mountain summit in central New Hampshire. The site is characterized by granite outcroppings and is situated at the center of a three-mile radius “dark” landscape with very little light pollution to obstruct astronomical viewing.

Axonometric
Axonometric

Gemma’s design rejects a traditional dome in favor of a synthesized architectural form that maximizes usable space and responds to the stark geographic context. Its continuously faceted shape reflects the surrounding landform, and terraced concrete platforms transition between the summit’s bedrock and the building foundation, knitting together natural and man-made landscapes. An unconventional pattern of lock-seamed zinc cladding mediates between the irregular site topography and the building’s geometry, reflecting Gemma’s orientation to both geological and celestial landmarks. Its dimension, color, and patina evoke a material relationship to the gray granite outcroppings, while its heat transfer capability facilitates sky observation by minimizing temperature differential distortion.

Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects
Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects
Plans
Plans
Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects
Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects

As a counterpoint to the exterior and its context, the interior is lined with fir plywood, creating a haven of refuge and warmth from the harsh surroundings. The first floor is comprised of a research office, sleeping bunk, and warming room, and is super-insulated to prevent interior/exterior temperature differentials from creating heat eddies that would impede astronomical viewing. A helical stair leads from the cantilevered entry canopy to a fissure in the cladding that opens onto the exterior observation deck. Continuing, the stair arrives at the observatory’s primary viewing platform inside the faceted turret, its interior characterized by high ceilings, a larger telescope, and a camera array. A single person can rotate this turret by hand with an assembly typically used in high-precision manufacturing facilities, and a hand-cranked sliding hatch opens the telescope to the sky. A rift in the zinc cladding creates a corner window, framing Polaris when the turret is locked into the southern cardinal position.

Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects
Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Anmahian Winton Architects
Office
Cite: "Gemma Observatory / Anmahian Winton Architects" 22 Dec 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/885875/gemma-observatory-anmahian-winton-architects/> ISSN 0719-8884
Courtesy of Anmahian Winton Architects

隐于山岩之中的几何体 Gemma 观星台 / Anmahian Winton Architects