The Planetarium and observatory of Douaisis aims to create a new and unique cultural destination on a remarkable site, inspired by the elliptic, fluid, and continuous movement of the stars and the adjacent river Scarpe. By creating a unified building, where the domes of the observatory and the planetarium are closely tied together, the project features a clearly identifiable concept both when experienced up close and when seen when seen from distance from the Rue du Tournai road.
The project also comprises a planted and glazed outdoor patio which guides visitors through the building while also efficiently contributing to the unification of the different programs. A lush garden behind the building follows the movement of the planetarium and the building’s plaza. The gardens continuous pathway links the different exterior spaces together, all the way to the adjacent archeological museum and park, Arkéos.
The main entry of the planetarium, situated at the northern part of the building, constitutes a central meeting point for future visitors. It also creates a direct connection with Arkéos. The concept of continuous movement inspires the museum throughout, defining everything from the reception area, the shops, the exhibition spaces, the amphitheater as well as the projection dome on the southern part of the building. The one-story building is linked by a slightly inclined ramp, visible from the outside through the building’s translucent façade.
Consisting of Corten steel panels covering a curtain wall, the building’s façade is inspired by the materiality of the Arkéos museum with its gray and ochre colors. The panels are positioned to both protect from sunlight while also offering beautiful views outside.
The façade of the office spaces at are covered by a grey wooden openwork siding, echoing the aesthetic qualities of the archeological museum while also assuring the façade keeps a unified expression.