Traditional planetariums are usually big structures that offer collective projections and include many different activities. At the same time, the relationship between mankind and universe is something deep and intimate that risks to get lost. That’s why our first aim is to recover an individual experience of space, refusing traditional mega-structures but thinking over the collective valence of planetarium.
The project is based on a network of little planetariums scattered all over the world. Every planetarium corresponds to a sphere with limited dimensions (5 m x 5 m) and its localization is absolutely not casual. In fact, micro-spheres are located next to the most important astronomic observation points in the world: starting from primitive constructions until contemporary observatories. This choice produces many advantages. First of all observatories and ancient buildings have usually a provision of services for visitors that makes our microspheres free from any activity different from pure experience of space. Additionally, astronomic observation points are essentially for network’s definition. Every observatory for example could capture pictures and videos to share them in live stream with its microsphere. Meanwhile, in ancient observation sites (where there are no telescopes), it’s possible to capture images of the sky and of astronomical phenomena, seen from the Earth without any instrument. Then, all this images could be transmitted to other microspheres thanks to virtual connection, defining an international network and an extreme variety of possible projections. Finally, why not think about expanding the network beyond the Earth? Maybe including images taken from spatial stations or from other planets…
Let’s consider now a single planetarium and its characterization. As we said before, every planetarium in our proposal is a microsphere: an elementary and iconic shape. In our opinion there’s no need to think about acrobatic formal innovation: a simple change of scale is enough to transform the visitor’s experience. Every microsphere is sized to accommodate only one visitor at time and offers a 360° projection thanks to a mirror system. There’s a gangway which suspends the visitor in the middle of the sphere to maximize the sense of been completely immersed into the space. To reach this gangway every microsphere has got a support structure: a tower that contains only stairs and a panoramic terrace for observations and video shooting. In this way the external perfection of the sphere is not interrupted by an entrance: if you want to reach the planetarium’s hearth it’s necessary to go through the narrow space of the tower. The materiality of our planetarium reflects his international and local valence. Every microsphere is covered by white autoclaved aerated concrete in whose holes different natural agent can proliferate and crystallize, modifying the planetarium’s surface.
Finally, imagine for a moment to be completely alone in a perfect spherical space, next to an ancient monument or a huge observatory: only silence, knowledge, fear and wonder.