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KIELDER OBSERVATORY: A Self-Sustainable Astronomy Center
Everything from buildings to resorts to cars to temples are donning the green mantle. The latest to join this list of sustainable structures is the Keilder Observatory in the UK. Located in Northumberland and designed by Charles Barclay Architects, this stunning structure stands an an example of self-sustainable architecture that is equally inspiring in both form and function.
The observatory is intended for amateur astronomers, and houses two permanent telescopes as well as space for personal telescopes. The observatory is orientated south east towards the Kielder Sky Space, a sister project of the Kielder Observatory. It is used as an observatory at night and as a viewing platform during the day.
The observatory has been designed in the form of a ‘land pier’, jutting out over the Black Fell landscape. It has been constructed from Douglas fir and has larch cladding. The telescopes have been placed in rotating turrets that can be rotated through 360 degrees. The turrets are rotated by a manual rack and pinion system.
The true hallmark of the observatory is its complete self-sustainability. The observatory generates its own electricity – the power is generated by a 2.5 kW wind turbine, and photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof. The observatory also includes eco-minded features like composting toilets.
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