Entry No. EC2819-C

Concept
In Chronos: The Space-Time Planetarium users perceive astronomical scenes at different rates, thus simulating the intrinsic connection between space and time. Six varied architectural strategies engage users with the enveloping media at contrasting speeds and time relations (past, present, and future) in order to challenge their understanding of the universe. Only after the users travel through the entire planetarium do they comprehend its organization.

Site
Chronos is an interior experience located in Houston’s Space Center. Adjacent to NASA, the planetarium complements NASA’s educational mission while profiting from their expanding research. The planetarium will become a landmark in Houston, a growing and diverse city.

Program
The planetarium is a fun house for the education and exploration of the cosmos. Chronos is a place that allows all users to be children again, letting them dream about our fantastic universe.

Project Description
“Nothing seems to be more prominent about human life than its wanting to understand all and put everything together.” – Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, Buckminster Fuller

Chronos: The Space-Time Planetarium, spatializes the marvels of the universe through a labyrinth of six architectural techniques that invite the user to abandon earthly notions of space and time. This scalable simulation of a universe challenges the users to learn through their own bodies’ engagement and circulation within the network. While the dome has traditionally been iconized as the architectural representation of space, light, and time, Chronos exposes the inherent unity of these three concepts by foregrounding a post-humanist perception of the universe with infinite centers.

Chronos indexes complex space by inscribing the universe, the planetarium, and the body within a scale-less cube that deconstructs its contents in six projection planes. The six projection planes serve as a methodological diagram for constructing the planetarium where each plane is occupied by a diverse architectural strategy (mirrors, sticks, tubes, spirals, hills, and elevator), projected onto one another, producing a labyrinth of simultaneous time narratives and scales.

Here, architecture mitigates an amorphous interior world saturated by media depicting extraterrestrial scenes. The planetarium grounds users through abstract learning as they navigate the entanglement while warping their perception of space-time. While traveling through a series of architectural space-time scenarios users are enlightened with astronomical scenes that transcend human perception. They are simultaneously probed with foregrounded space, time, and light conditions that question the very basis of our ongoing exploration of astronomy.

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