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Manchester observatory to unveil £21m visitor experience

The new attraction will feature a planetarium dome and exhibition spaces and will open in June




First Light Pavilion is the centrepiece of the new attraction at the Manchester observatory   Credit: HASSELL Studio

Cheshire’s Jodrell Bank Observatory is set to open a new visitor experience, which will feature the First Light Pavilion designed by HASSELL architecture firm as its centrepiece.

The pavilion, under the umbrella of the £21.5m (US$28.3m, €25.8m) First Light Project, will be home to interactive permanent and temporary exhibitions that tell the story of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank astronomy site and its 75-year history. Opening in June 2022, its design is sympathetic to the environment and shaped like a dome to mirror the observatory’s Lovell telescope. The dome’s architectural design interacts with the path of the sun across the sky, acting as a giant sundial.

Meanwhile, the Space Dome will offer planetarium-style shows, including one specially made for Jodrell Bank, as well as Journey Through Space. A new coffee shop is also in the pipeline.

The project was conceived by Jodrell Bank professors Teresa Anderson and Tim O’Brien, and will reach out astronomers, stargazers, schoolchildren, and the general public at large.

More than half of the money has come from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Fund’s CEO Eilish McGuinness said: “Jodrell Bank is truly a unique heritage site, of national and international importance, with an inspirational story of Britain’s role as a leader in the science of the exploration of the universe, set in a landscape of great beauty and with iconic heritage at every turn.”


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Manchester observatory to unveil £21m visitor experience | Planet Attractions
news

Manchester observatory to unveil £21m visitor experience

The new attraction will feature a planetarium dome and exhibition spaces and will open in June




First Light Pavilion is the centrepiece of the new attraction at the Manchester observatory   Credit: HASSELL Studio

Cheshire’s Jodrell Bank Observatory is set to open a new visitor experience, which will feature the First Light Pavilion designed by HASSELL architecture firm as its centrepiece.

The pavilion, under the umbrella of the £21.5m (US$28.3m, €25.8m) First Light Project, will be home to interactive permanent and temporary exhibitions that tell the story of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank astronomy site and its 75-year history. Opening in June 2022, its design is sympathetic to the environment and shaped like a dome to mirror the observatory’s Lovell telescope. The dome’s architectural design interacts with the path of the sun across the sky, acting as a giant sundial.

Meanwhile, the Space Dome will offer planetarium-style shows, including one specially made for Jodrell Bank, as well as Journey Through Space. A new coffee shop is also in the pipeline.

The project was conceived by Jodrell Bank professors Teresa Anderson and Tim O’Brien, and will reach out astronomers, stargazers, schoolchildren, and the general public at large.

More than half of the money has come from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Fund’s CEO Eilish McGuinness said: “Jodrell Bank is truly a unique heritage site, of national and international importance, with an inspirational story of Britain’s role as a leader in the science of the exploration of the universe, set in a landscape of great beauty and with iconic heritage at every turn.”


 



© Kazoo 5 Limited 2023