- Design: 2020
- Location: Žilina, SK
The aim of the project was to create an attractive space in the Observatory “Na Malom diele” for the implementation of non-formal education in the field of astronomy, natural sciences and culture, as well as relaxation for participants in knowledge tourism. The main idea is to pay tribute to the astronauts of the Apollo program, including Eugene A. Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, whose roots go back to Slovakia.
The dominant feature of the area is the main building located at the highest point on the site, in direct connection to the main entrance. Through the building, the visitor continues smoothly to the so-called “Small circuit” of IQ park. The “small circuit” consists of three hemispherical domes representing future workstations on the moon. The domes are connected to each other and also to the main building by a tunnel. The tunnel provides access with dry feet, especially in the winter months. In the first dome from the main building will be presented a model of the Apollo 17 command module – CM-114 America in a scale of 1: 1. In the next dome, the visitor will discover a model of a lunar vehicle in a scale of 1: 1. In the next phase, the space will be digitized with the possibility of simulating a ride on the moon. In the last dome will be exhibited a model of the Challenger landing lunar module. Visitors will be able to enter and view all models.
After completing the “small circuit”, the visitor has the opportunity to walk on the “large circuit”. The large circuit has the character of a natural trail, presents attractions as a model of the Earth’s first artificial satellite – Sputnik, a model of a crashed flying saucer, a fallen meteorite, a sundial, planetary scales, a simulation of walking in a spacesuit … The culmination of the circuit is a model of the Saturn V launch vehicle, which was used by astronauts on their way to the moon. Scale 1:10, model height 11 m. A lookout tower in the shape of a rocket boarding bridge is built next to the model. At the top, visitors will be able to look inside the rocket, where they will see the interior of the command module together with the astronauts.
In addition to educational circuits, the area also offers the possibility of using the amphitheater – “Cinema under the stars”. Amphitheater with a projection area of 6×3.75 m
The building of the main building reflects on the surrounding terrain and literally cuts into the slope. The dynamic shape is a response to demanding requirements observably. It is a three-storey building with a recessed underground floor and a floor with a large gallery. The foyer has interactive presentation panels, 3D models of space technology, suspended satellites and models of planets. This spacious one and a half storey high space rises towards the observatory located on the first floor. According to the purchased entrance fee, the visitor can directly visit the planetarium, the observatory, or enter the outdoor park immediately, or get through the tunnel to the “small circuit”.
The planetarium consists of a spherical shell with an outer diameter of 13 m and an inner projection surface with a diameter of 5 m. Access to the planetarium is barrier-free – from above. Capacity 60 people.
The observatory is situated on the first floor, accessible either by a steel staircase next to the light space wall, or by a lift. The space is observably designed so that when observing the sky, it is possible to move the roof downwards above the foyer and at the same time slide the windows and supporting structures of the roof into the perimeter walls. This provides an open space with walls up to a height of 2 m, which prevents light from penetrating back into the binocular lenses.
In direct connection to the foyer is an outdoor terraced seating next to the lunar surface of the planetarium, which leads us to the exterior terrace of the cafe located in the basement.