Design Consultation . Santa Monica, California
$_SERVER[REQUEST_URI] = /projects/199106.php
sectionname() = Projects
pagename() = 199106

Click on an image to go to the gallery.
Basking Ridge, NJ
January 1991

A computer scientist for nearby Bell Labs wanted to be able to watch the stars from some spot a little more comfortable than the nearby fields. The original one-car garage for his house had already been converted to a home office, so we also needed to create a garage for his one car.

Although the addition was wood frame construction, there were two concrete columns which ran up through the floor of the observatory. These isolated the telescopes from the minute vibrations of the floor when he walked. The lighting was red, which is night-vision safe.

The most dramatic feature of the building was the rolling roof. With a tug on a rope the roof slid off the structure and onto a pair of aluminum rails on the top of the house. The south end of the upper story was hinged, so that it dropped away, revealing more of the (astronomically) interesting southern horizon.

Within this tiny project we played with the expression of the columns on the exterior of the volume, with the change of a surface material (the house was grey asbestos shingles), and of course the intriguing mechanism of a roof that allowed the sky to be the ceiling of a room.