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Observatory of Atmospheric Conditions

Part 1 Project 2013
Callum Sohal
Birmingham City University, UK
Nestled between the derelict pitched roof factories and abandoned bottle kilns of Longton, Stoke-on-Trent the observatory sits silently; constantly monitoring and recording atmospheric conditions miles above the earths surface. The project provides a theoretical response to ever increasing concerns the effect climate change is having on our environment. Its main objective is to record, monitor and help prevent the emittance of green house gases released by the agricultural community. This is accomplished by investigating alternative methods of sustainable energy through utilisation of waste biomass using a process of synthetic biology.

The form and programme derives from its surroundings, initially the observatory presents itself as a proposed replacement for a nearby observatory, which although still in use is in a state of disrepair. Its distorted geometry was born through its fuel programme, taking the hexagonal cell unit of hydrogen as a deconstructed shape that was sculpted to create the observatories architectural form.

To monitor conditions the observatory relies on two manoeuvrable telescopes fixed within the sites partially sunken telescope bay, Infrared light is used to detect and measure greenhouse gas pollution identifying areas most affected. The telescope bay provides a focal point to the structure with all interior spaces being orientated around the area. An internally open observation tower provides public users with a dramatic elevated walk to the 24m high observation platform where they’re invited to view Stokes surrounding landscape with its panoramic views and clear night skies.

Callum Sohal


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