The Birds Nest Observatory

This unique observatory features an incredible specification for a truly one-off observing experience. Built inside and out in beautiful knotty Western Red Cedar, the Birds Nest observatory features a raised observing area allowing its owner to view the entire night sky whilst seated comfortably in a yacht-style horseshoe seat finished in fine grain leather.

The observing area comfortably seats six people, clustered around a telescope mounted on an electro-mechanical pier – the instrument rises silently from the floor to a comfortable observing height, adjustable dependent on the location of the object being viewed. The seat was hand-upholstered by a local specialist upholsterer to an exquisite finish, and is under-lit by colour-controlled LED lighting providing an attractive and helpful glow without any glare so that the occupants can see where to put their feet.

Moving down the stairs (which are also under-lit with coloured LED lighting), you go through two unique bespoke cedar half-doors to a fully insulated, luxurious warm room. This well-appointed space features a full-length day bed with two large storage drawers under it, plus cupboards and an under-counter refrigerator neatly hidden behind a further cupboard door. Everything is constructed from western red cedar, including the hand-jointed staved countertops, made in our own workshop in Surrey.

The daybed too is upholstered in fine-grain leather, and like the observing seat it features LED under-lighting (seen in the photo above as a gentle blue glow). Both the observatory and warm room also benefit from wall-mounted LED reading lights, which provide a discrete pool of light when consulting star charts or books, and the warm-room includes six LED downlights for those occasions when brighter light is required.

Beneath the hard-wearing laminate floor, there is electric under-floor heating with a full-colour, illuminated controller set on the wall for ease of use.

Turning to the exterior of the building, again, nothing was spared in the lavish, high quality design. The windows (each double-glazed with toughened, energy-efficient glass) echo the shape of the roll-off frame whilst appearing modern and striking.

The fine fit of the cedar cladding is further testament to the quality of the building, as well as the exterior door, again hand-made by our joiners in solid cedar wood.

The roof, in common with all our other observatories, is constructed in roofing-grade OSB3 and treated softwood for longevity, but clad in the same cedar cladding as the rest of the observatory and finished with our signature maintenance-free EPDM roof system.

At the front of the observatory, we were delighted to include an area of decking (again in Western Red Cedar) for the owner to sit on in the warmer afternoons; after all, the views from the observatory are rather stunning even in the daytime.

Attention to detail is a signature that runs through this observatory as it does in any of our designs – and it truly sets this apart as a magnificent structure. Each and every board was carefully cut and fitted for a perfect result, and the feeling of quality is evident from the moment you step up to the door.


In this observatory, a seated observing position means a very special seat… and special it is! This wonderful bespoke U-shaped bench is upholstered in blue leather by our local experts. A total of three hides were used with sumptuous foam to create this incredible seat that makes your observatory feel like a luxury yacht, floating through space!


Cedar has both advantages and disadvantages for use in observatories – but one advantage is that it looks gorgeous, both when newly installed, and when it has weathered to a lovely light silver grey. Its extraordinary longevity means that it will last a lifetime, whether or not you treat it with stains and preservatives. However, it does present certain challenges with regard to moisture – it draws it in by capillary action, so needs to be installed with great care for detailing.


Under-floor heating isn’t just for houses! It’s a great option for a warm room too, providing a gentle heat with no hot spots and no bulky wall heaters. It requires a layer of finish flooring over – such as laminate or vinyl, but it’s programmable and highly efficient too. Why not pair it with low-level LED under-lighting for a warm room that’s as visually stunning as it is comfortable?

 Overall Size (mm):5460 (L) x 2500 (W) x 2745 (H)
 Observatory Size (Internal, mm):2260 (L) x 2300 (W) x 975 (H)
 Warm Room Size (Internal, mm):1880 (L) x 2300 (W) x 1851 (H)
 Total length including frame (mm):8600
 Roof type:Pitched EPDM roof
 Exterior Cladding:Western Red Cedar Tongue-and-Groove
 Interior Wall Lining:Western Red Cedar Tongue-and-Groove
 Roof Covering:One-piece EPDM rubber membrane
 Roof Pitch:approx 10 degrees
 Additional Features:

Double-glazed windows
LED accent lighting on stairs and under seats
Storage drawers and cupboards
Day bed
Reading lights
Large decked outside sitting area
Dry stone retaining wall
Adjustable height pier (telescope rises out of floor in observatory)
Location:Southern England, UK
Completed:August 2015
Approximate Project Cost*:£43,900

* Approximate project cost does not include VAT, haulage, groundworks, telescope or pier, and represents what a similar project might cost if completed now, including any improvements to our base specification.