Here's something for backyard stargazers to drool over. Gemma Observatory is a private astronomical hideaway perched atop a remote mountain in New Hampshire that combines responsive design with functional smarts to make a unique platform for exploring the night sky.

Anmahian Winton Architects has taken a scalpel to the conventional dome in designing Gemma. According to the architects, the angular shape of the building maximizes usable space and reflects the surrounding granite landscape, right down to the way in which the gray lock-seamed zinc cladding is laid out.

Heavily insulated to ensure optimal viewing conditions (i.e. so the lenses don't fog up), the building incorporates an office and sleeping space on the first floor, topped by an an exterior viewing platform and a turret that houses a telescope and camera array. The turret can be rotated by hand and opens to the heavens by means of a hand-cranked hatch.

A final touch is the corner window that frames the North Star from the turret.

If you're feeling jealous, you're not alone.

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