Architecture

Gemma observatory puts an architectural edge on stargazing

Gemma observatory puts an arch...
Gemma Observatory sits in a remote New Hamshire location
Gemma Observatory sits in a remote New Hamshire location
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The turret can be opened to the sky using a hand-crank mechanism
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The turret can be opened to the sky using a hand-crank mechanism
Gemma Observatory by Anmahian Winton Architects
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Gemma Observatory by Anmahian Winton Architects
Anmahian Winton Architects’ Gemma Observatory has received a 2017 AZ Award in the category Architecture under 1,000m²
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Anmahian Winton Architects’ Gemma Observatory has received a 2017 AZ Award in the category Architecture under 1,000m²
The zinc cladding is designed to reflect the surrounding granite landscape
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The zinc cladding is designed to reflect the surrounding granite landscape
Gemma Observatory features both enclosed and exterior viewing platforms
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Gemma Observatory features both enclosed and exterior viewing platforms
The building's interior is lined with fir plywood
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The building's interior is lined with fir plywood
Entrance to the exterior viewing platform
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Entrance to the exterior viewing platform
Gemma Observatory sits in a remote New Hamshire location
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Gemma Observatory sits in a remote New Hamshire location
The viewing turret can be rotated by hand
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The viewing turret can be rotated by hand
The zinc cladding is designed to reflect the surrounding granite landscape
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The zinc cladding is designed to reflect the surrounding granite landscape

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.

The building's interior is lined with fir plywood
The building's interior is lined with fir plywood

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.

Anmahian Winton Architects’ Gemma Observatory has received a 2017 AZ Award in the category Architecture under 1,000m²
Anmahian Winton Architects’ Gemma Observatory has received a 2017 AZ Award in the category Architecture under 1,000m²

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

Source: Anmahian Winton Architects

2 comments
ljaques
Ugliest 'stealth sphinx' I've ever seen in my life. How much of the sky can be seen from that thing, anyway? Observatories got their domes for a reason! There are very, very few architects in the world who should ever be paid for their work. <sigh>
JamesAberdeen
Beautiful and functional, well done. It looks like a rock formation.