PLANETARIUM

The Experience of Space

Welcome to Eleven’s 6th international challenge. This time around, we turn our attention to Planetariums.

From the dawn of civilization, mankind has had a fascination with the sky. From Stonehenge to the Pyramids of Egypt and South America, architecture has played a central role in the understanding of space and time, both as an observational tool and as a metaphorical experience.

Today, the Planetarium dome has become the standard vessel for communicating astronomy and astrophysics. However, many of these lessons have become restricted to projections, films or virtual reality, thus downgrading the architecture to a passive container rather than a committed protagonist.

In this competition, we ask if architecture itself could become – once again – the tool for experiencing and understanding space. How can architecture engage with and enhance today’s renewed age of space exploration and discovery? What does the next generation of Planetariums look like?

There are no right or wrong answers, just endless possibilities in the pursuit of excellence and design-led innovation. So… let your creativity go wild and enjoy the process! We really look forward to seeing your fantastic proposals.

This competition is run in partnership with Christina Ciardullo and is sponsored by the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS).

Architecture, Space and the beginning of Civilisation

Mankind has always been fascinated with what lies beyond our sky. Since the dawn of time, the study of astronomy and space has influenced us. During this time, architecture became a primary tool in the study and mapping of astrological phenomenons, eventually leading to the birth of calendars, which paved the way for the mastery of agriculture: the bedrock for great civilizations to flourish around the world. Stonehenge celebrates the solstices of the sun; pyramids and temples in Egypt map out the night sky; and the Mayan step pyramids tracked the passage of time. It is then that architectural form moved on from its origins as a means for shelter, to became a catalyst for an experience: the link between mankind and the mysteries which lie beyond our world as a way of directly interacting, rationalising, understanding and ultimately experiencing space.


winner

Greenwich Deep Space Exploratorium

Jonathan Law, Cheryl Lim & Ashirai Zeyn Musikavanhu
(UK / Singapore)

For the first time in the history of Eleven’s competitions, a team has won both the jury vote and the public vote. This winning planetarium design comes to life in the form of an elegant sensory journey of discovery. Above ground, monolithic ‘alien’ structures are scattered amongst the peaceful setting of Greenwich Park. Below ground, these shells become vessels for galactic exploration, hold within them sensory experiences of space. Prepare yourself to be submerged (quite literally) into the depths of space. Experience the dark nothingness black holes, feel the heat of the brightest burning suns, and be dwarfed by the magnificence of galaxies.

runner up

Microsphere

Christian Gabbiani & Elisa Porro
(Italy)

A minimal poetic design that focuses on an intimate rediscovery of space and puts you at the centre of the universe. The architecture is underrated but elegant, allowing it to comfortably exist in a whole multitude of contexts around the world. Tiny design, big idea. Your own private corner of space.


Honourable Mentions:

ARCHXIS (ARCHITECTURE FOR EXPERIENCING INTERGALACTIC SPACE)

Albert S. Yu, Jay Panelo, Noriel M. Estipular & Ara Lovinia G. Fronda
(Philippines)

The idea behind this planetarium is strong, well presented in the sheets and contemporary, helping us understand the galactic (and extragalactic) cosmology beyond our planet in a rational and clear way. It is easy to see this being built in cities around the world. This design uses the architecture fully as part of the experience, rather than as a simple container for space exhibits to exist in.

CHRONOS: The Space-Time Planetarium

Drew Heller, Isabella Marcotulli & Ibrahim Salman
(USA)

The creativity of concept is only overshadowed by the beautiful sheets, which become true works of art in themselves. Eccentric, crazy, yet structured, this design is a building like no other we have seen, which pushes the boundaries of what a planetarium could be. To quote one of our jury members: “Is it realistic? Probably not, but who cares. It makes you go wow and dream. After all, isn’t this what space is all about?”

Space Fair

Ryan Danny Baxter & Amanda Mei Schwarz
(USA)

This scheme has a quirky retro feel and matching graphics. It is a hybrid between a school science fair and a high-school sports event (where are the cheerleaders?). We love its fun-natured spirit and the possibility of creating an event (rather than a building) around the idea of learning about space which can be enjoyed by both children and adults. The fair has the added bonus of allowing for the event to change in time and travel the world, accessing even the most remote communities.

ANTINOUS – The Planetarium of Rome

Roberto Fioretti & Tommaso Marenaci
(Italy)

A beautiful link between past and present through the eternity of space. This design uses architecture to link the user to stars, planets and satellites above. We particularly love the Moon phase gallery: just one of the ways in which this team has manipulated architectural form in subtle ways to create powerful lessons of space through a sensory experience of place. Lovely.

Somewhat Empty Space

Justin Jed Zumel
(USA)

This planetarium is more than a piece of architecture. It is a grand vision which is captivating in concept and graphically. We love the way the design team chose an unconventional site and how important figures in the history of physics, space and astronomy are represented in architecture, existing within the overall scheme like planets in full orbit. Hard to imagine a visitor not being awed by the grander of the design and the boldness of the experiences held within.

Celestial Trace

Keonwoo Kim & Jeong A Lee
(South Korea)

Simple, elegant, beautifully presented and unlike anything else submitted in this competition. We particularly loved the idea of flipping the dome (literally) to create a new way of experiencing space. We like the tension in walking the ‘space plank’ (as we called it) and feeling like you are floating in the middle of stars. This project has a potential to profoundly impact on one’s perceptions.


people's choice

Greenwich Deep Space Exploratorium

Jonathan Law, Cheryl Lim & Ashirai Zeyn Musikavanhu
(UK / Singapore)

For the first time in the history of Eleven’s competitions, a team has won both the jury vote and the public vote. This winning planetarium design comes to life in the form of an elegant sensory journey of discovery. Above ground, monolithic ‘alien’ structures are scattered amongst the peaceful setting of Greenwich Park. Below ground, these shells become vessels for galactic exploration, hold within them sensory experiences of space. Prepare yourself to be submerged (quite literally) into the depths of space. Experience the dark nothingness black holes, feel the heat of the brightest burning suns, and be dwarfed by the magnificence of galaxies.



Jury:

Meet our panel of world class experts, scientists, artists, leaders and fellow designers!

dennis

Dennis Cohen

Creative Director and Experience Designer at Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA)

dennis

Dennis Cohen

Creative Director and Experience Designer at Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA)

cb

Charles Beichman

Executive Director of NASA's Exoplanatory Science Institute (NExScI) at Caltech / NASA JPL

cb

Charles Beichman

Executive Director of NASA's Exoplanatory Science Institute (NExScI) at Caltech / NASA JPL

sd

Stephen Dubois

Secretary of the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS)

sd

Stephen Dubois

Secretary of the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS)

jimsweitzer

Jim Sweitzer

Astrophysicist and Museum Consultant

jimsweitzer

Jim Sweitzer

Astrophysicist and Museum Consultant

eric-hanson

Eric Hanson

Founder and Partner at xRez Studio

eric-hanson

Eric Hanson

Founder and Partner at xRez Studio

dan-goods

Dan Goods

Artist in Residence at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

dan-goods

Dan Goods

Artist in Residence at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

lars

Lars Lindberg Christensen

Head of Education & Public Outreach Department at the European Southern Observatory (ESO)

lars

Lars Lindberg Christensen

Head of Education & Public Outreach Department at the European Southern Observatory (ESO)

tom-wang-2

Thomas Wong

Partner at Ennead Architects

tom-wang-2

Thomas Wong

Partner at Ennead Architects

christina-c

Christina Ciardullo

Co-Founder SEArch+ / PhD Candidate at the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology RPI

christina-c

Christina Ciardullo

Co-Founder SEArch+ / PhD Candidate at the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology RPI

eloise

Eloise Carr

Editor, Eleven Magazine

eloise

Eloise Carr

Editor, Eleven Magazine

andrea

Andrea Verenini

Founder, Eleven Magazine

andrea

Andrea Verenini

Founder, Eleven Magazine