The Workshop Observatory
This project comprised a 12’x9′ workshop, with a 9’x9′ observatory, giving an overall 21′ x 9′ building.
Our signature stepped design once again releases additional height for the workshop, allowing us to provide a full height work area with a proper insulated ceiling and ample space for tools, shelving and workbenches. Comprehensive electrics were installed, with sockets at workbench height as well as specific outlets for the telescope, a heater, and a caravan hookup (remember we are a bespoke observatory designer!).
The design is one of our few apex-roof structures – but in our opinion it achieves a gracefulness that can only be found with the elegance of a symmetrical roof-line. We worked with a structural engineer to create a unique truss design that allows both light weight and a shallow slope angle – essential for ensuring good sight-lines whilst retaining excellent strength. The roof covering is our usual premium-quality EPDM rubber membrane that is equally at home on a shallow apex roof such as this.
In this case, the observatory was built adjacent to a Victorian property, so we chose specific door and window proportions in order to retain consistency with the house. Our choice of door furniture, and the height of the handle were all considered as part of this process.
Locally, there had been problems in the past with thefts from sheds; our design however provides maximum security – in this case with the addition of a 2nd 5-lever mortice deadlock, and laminated window glass set in frames which are impossible to release from outside the structure. The roof itself is also secured internally when in the closed position – providing full protection not only against burglars, but also high winds. The image below shows a spare cable added at the customer’s request for an outside light – an unusual addition to an observatory but of course switchable from inside!
We were delighted to receive the owner’s “first light” image of the Whirlpool Galaxy from the new observatory – a magnificent result.
If you’re using your observatory for imaging, a warm room can make a huge difference to your comfort and convenience. It’s a separate, heated, and fully insulated room, with a window to the main observatory, where you can control your telescope and camera from a place of warmth and comfort! We usually include a number of extra sockets and a desk, and a cable channel so that you can route cables under the floor to the pier.
Our standard interior wall lining is Oriented Strand Board (OSB) – also know as ‘Sterling Board’. We use it because it’s moisture-resistant, very strong and secure. The quick way to break into a building with timber cladding is to pull off a few planks – if you did that with one of our observatories, you’d be met with the same board used to board up empty buildings!
Phenolic Ply Floor
All our observatories feature our phenolic ply flooring. It’s an incredibly hard-wearing birch-based plywood, treated with a phenolic resin coating that makes it impervious to water, dirt and, well, everything! It’s commonly used as the beds of flatbed trailers, and on outdoor play equipment – which should be some indication of its ability to survive muck and moisture! For you, it’s an easy-to-clean, non-slip, hard-wearing floor that needs no additional coverings!