The Sensory is a new way of learning about the universe through experience. It is an architectural intervention in the shape of a single room pavilion.
A planetarium uses visual and sound effects to explain the universe. The Sensory, on the contrary, engages with the people through other senses, it turns the visitors from mere spectators to active explorers. It is an accessible space that welcomes absolutely everyone to enjoy the experience.
The Sensory is a hermetic pavilion, that isolates the visitors from the outside world and guides them through a “spacewalk”, where they will learn about the universe.
Inside the room, visitors will experience the following space characteristics:
The interior is a pitch-black room to emulate the darkness in space, because the space despite being full of bright stars is black (Olbers’ Paradox) – The darkness in the room explains the concept of infinite as well as the dark matter and dark energy.
The room is an anechoic chamber to show how silence is a key characteristic of the universe and a consequence of the vacuum.
The Sensory controls its internal temperature and humidity. By controlling the temperature, from hot in the entrance to cold (or absence of warm) it explains how the universe has been cooling down since the Big Bang.
The visitor will learn about different components of the universe through smells. Though it is impossible for humans to sniff around in space thanks to astronaut experiences, we can get an idea of what kind of smells you could find in the Universe. According to many astronauts after smelling their suits and equipment, space smells like hot metal or burnt charcoal. This is caused by dying stars.
The slope of the floor slightly pushes the visitor through our spacewalk, making the participant conscious about the accelerating expansion of the universe.
The Sensory is a completely isolated room with the shape of a rectangular horn. It is a geometrical abstraction of the Big Bang theory, which describes how the universe expanded from a very high density and high temperature state.
It is proposed to be located on the grounds of the Greenwich observatory, there, The Sensory would be a complementary learning tool to the observatory. It would act as an innovative way of experience the universe.
Despite the proposed location, it has been designed as an independent structure without foundation so it could be built in different locations.