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Boyden observatory

Boyden Observatory     

University of the Free State



Boyden Observatory is an astronomical research observatory and science education center located in Maselspoort, 20 kilometers north-east of the city of Bloemfontein in Free State, South Africa. The observatory is managed by the Physics Department of the University of the Free State. 


The Physics Department approached us to design a new part of the famous Boyden Observatory. Their needs:

  • to divide the public from academic

  • to link the complex together as a unit 

  • to provide an outside auditorium

  • with a viewing screen

  • to provide an inside auditorium

  • parking for buses


We designed the complex conceptually with Bernard Tschumi's Parc de la Villette in mind (lines, points, and surfaces superimposed to form a new order). The design process is described below. Site supervision was done by Witthun Maree Architects and construction by Domani Contractors. 

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