Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, British Columbia
PWL Partnership was hired by Simon Fraser University Facilities Services as the prime consultant for the design and development of the SFU astronomical observatory and plaza at the Burnaby Mountain campus. The new observatory will house a telescope that the public can use to view galaxies billions of light years away. Electrical outlets will be provided to allow visitors to set up their own telescopes.
Adjacent to the new structure will be a modern interpretation of an ancient observatory – an earth mound dissected by walls that carefully control the view of the sky, highlighting the movement or celestial objects. Planting is arranged in patterns which represent the orbit of planets about the sun. The viewing plaza will feature a long seating plinth which will glow at night with lit coloured bands that reference elemental emission spectra. In reference to the magnitude of distances involved in the study of astronomy, metal bands set in paving will provide a graphic representation of the powers of ten.