aurora borealis arctic observatory


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The task for that competition was to make a project of aurora borealis arctic observatory in Rovaniemi, Finland (town of Santa Claus). Except for the observatory we had to think also about a place for the planetarium and a hotel. We reached finals.
Functional division

The most characteristic element of our project is dividing the building into two functional zones. We decided to place the hotel rooms (bungalows) outside the main body of the building. In this way we created independent units, which were later combined by network of alleys.

Access to the property is possible via wooden walkways, which are placed on the ground. Communication between the tower and bungalows is suspended above the ground.

The main body of the building has the form of a tower. The most important objectives for the tower design were:

  • The observatory at the top, facing North
  • A cafeteria with a good view in all directions
  • Outstanding form
  • Sauna and a cafeteria near the entrance to the building from the side of the bungalows
  • Small building site — fewer trees to cut down

Up, up, up! | Asylum

Up, up, up!
We want to be as close to the sky as possible. Therefore, the building is tower shaped, it reaches the upper tree line. Thanks to that the view from the observatory, which is located at the very top, is spectacular. Also, the views on the other levels of the building are better.

People who come here want to isolate themselves from the noise of the city. Here they can find nature, silence and peace. Thanks to the separated blocks the guests don’t have to participate in the life of the building. Each bungalow is divided into a relaxation zone – upstairs, and the bedroom zone – downstairs.

What grows in Rovaniemi stays in Rovaniemi | Light and heavy

What grows in Rovaniemi stays in Rovaniemi
The main material used in the construction and the facade of the tower, the houses and the paths, is the wood which can be found in this particular region.

Light and heavy
The building is covered with vertical, spaced out wooden blinds. Thanks to this solution from the outside the building seems uniform. But in reality, inside, there is still a transparent barrier.

Watch out for that tree! | Fallen stars

Watch out for that tree!
While designing the line of the paths that lead to the observatory and of the paths between the bangalows, we’ve taken into consideration the existing trees in order to leave them untouched.

Fallen stars
The paths between the houses have to be lit. That’s why we suggest hanging lanterns between the trees in the way that won’t harm the trees.

Technical drawings

Technical drawings
a, b, c, d – plans od bungalows
e, f, g –of most characteristic tower levels
h – section of the tower