The Hillside Observatory

The Hillside Observatory was designed to be both an observatory and a true ‘man shed’ for its owner, Nick.

To achieve this we used a split floor design, which made full use of the sloping location to give a generous 6’2″ headroom in the warm room, whilst still providing low horizons in the large 8′ square observatory.  This larger observatory represented our first use of a more substantial frame, using 4″x4″ posts for additional rigidity.

Our customer chose Silva Timber‘s Siberian Larch channel cladding as the final finish – an excellent long-life cladding with a distinctive channel profile that provides both excellent weatherproofing and a delightful shadow-gap. The symmetrical profile allows the cladding to be applied vertically or horizontally, giving a very consistent appearance.

This was our first use of a new door design too – here we use a plain hardwood external fire door, which is clad with the same Siberian Larch as the rest of the observatory.  The use of the fire door provides excellent security as well as dimensional stability as the seasons change.

This design also features our first use of UPVC edging trims with our EPDM roof.  The trims provide a very neat finish on all sides, channeling water as required and allowing it to drip harmlessly away from the side of the observatory without any need for a clumsy gutter.  Both the door design and roof edging trims have become standard features on our observatories.

Roofing-grade OSB3 board provides a consistent, hard-wearing and water-resistant internal wall covering, and the window between the warm room and the observatory is glazed with laminated glass. A desk was also installed, made from the same lovely phenolic ply as the floor.

All our observatories feature a five-lever insurance-rated mortice lock, and beautiful wrought-iron style external door hardware.