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Chelsea West Architects

Chelsea West Architects

New York, NY | New Delhi, IN | Lagos, NG

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Night view
Night view
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Planetarium of Darbhanga, Patna

The plan and sectional form of the Science Museum is based off of the idea of a telescope. The eastern end of the building begins low and thin and as the building expands westward it widens and retracts to face the sky. The movement through the building sets the stage for views that open to the expansive universe as seen from within the observatory.

The form accentuates angled walls throughout the site and within the science center main gallery and represent the way light moves from one medium to another, such as in a reflecting telescope. The visitor’s movement throughout the science museum and site are governed by the angled walls.

The program is laid out in 5 segments
1. Forecourt, landscape plaza, ticketing and administration
2. Public functions such as café, lobby and gift shop
3. Science museum, galleries and laser theater
4. Planetarium
5. Auditorium and observatory

The science centers main gallery is an addition to the required program after much research. This gallery is home to exhibits such as the big bang, the evolution of the universe and cosmic pathways and can allow a more interactive approach to the sciences. Small vertical windows line the gallery spaces to allow for light and ventilation; however the focus was to direct attention internally until one reaches the planetarium zone.

The laser theater is a small domed space that seats up to 50 visitors and is located within the science museums main gallery space. This is a smaller version of the 14 meter wide spherical planetarium which hovers over a reflecting pool within the science centers main courtyard. This spherical icon rests in the heart of the museum and can be viewed throughout the gallery spaces. Visitors enter the planetarium through the first floor access walkways, which are also the structural members for the sphere, and are greeted by sunken seating and state of the art visual graphics.

Visitors travel along the planetarium to reach the auditorium located at the west side of the site and cascades towards the night sky. This area has a lower lobby which opens to the ground access level of the observation tower. The observation tower penetrates the auditorium form into the sky. The roof is fully occupiable and allows visitors to travel from entry to the observatory while viewing the night sky along the way
 

 
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Status: Under Construction
Location: Darbhanga, IN

 
Northeast overall view
Northeast overall view
Southwest overall view
Southwest overall view
Northern elevation view
Northern elevation view
Entry court perspective
Entry court perspective
Central courtyard
Central courtyard
Floating Dome
Floating Dome
Reflection pool
Reflection pool

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