architecture : urban : visual culture

Across the universe - observatory and visitor center in Pécs

Due to the void after the demolition of the old planetarium in Pécs 2005, István Ulmann choose to design a new observatory for the people and the city. "My aim was to create a space where not only the long-term research but the presentation and exhibition of the results is possible as well. Modern museum in the day, accomodation and laboratory in the night hand by hand like ebony and ivory."

The location is a abandoned ex-coal mine which is situated close to the vibrant Pécs city and potential visitors but far enough to keep the place away from the light pollution. Easy to reach, but hard to access. A place which strengthens the ethereal experience and tries to make the perfect vibe to focus on the subject.

On the site in the center, we have the main visitor center building including two floors. The ground floor dedicated more for the public with a store, cafeteria, exhibition area, presentation hall, and the laboratory, and there is the level below which is trying to serve the comfort of the astronomers. Room with own bathroom, kitchen, library and the stock room and the garage. On this level in the center of the circle an IMAX theater sits with 50 movable seats. Both areas are separated from the other and have an own entrance which doesn’t allow the people to mix, and disturb each other.

Observatory and visitor center - architect: István Ulmann

Other than there are 2 observatory buildings with 24/7 digital connection to the laboratory. One with d=8m and the other has a d=10m dome with the possibilities of 360° rotation.

The main architectural concept comes from different directions, such as the orbits or constellation, and felt all these shapes leed to a form which symbolize the perfection, the infinity, the in-and-out, the circle. My building is a Möbius ribbon embracing the importance of the knowledge.

Observatory and visitor center - architect: István Ulmann

István Ulmann


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