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This award winning project was designed by Charles Barclay Architects - London

Charles Barclay Architects have been named the winners of the Kielder Partnership

and RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Kielder Observatory competition.

The London-based architects saw off nearly 230 worldwide entries.
The winning design has been likened to the 'deck of a ship sailing above the Kielder landscape'. It's planned that eager astronomers will be able to visit the observatory at its rugged hilltop location on Black Fell in rural Northumberland (North East England) in late 2006. Kielder has been recognised as one of the best places to view the stars in the United Kingdom due to its pitch-black and pollution-free skies.

"The stunning structure stands as an example of self-sustainable architecture that is equally inspring in both form and function"

The development of Kielder 'Observatory' is being funded by the Northumberland Strategic Partnership and the Northern Rock Foundation with support from the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) and Arts Council England. Once completed, the unique facility will be used by specialist and amateur astronomers, scientific researchers and as a learning resource for education workshops – it's anticipated the construction costs of this project will be £125K.
Sarah Wigglesworth, RIBA Architectural Advisor to the Observatory project said: "The winning scheme is a simple, clear and logical response to the brief and effortlessly does everything required of it. The designers showed subtle insight into what was needed to make this an exciting yet robust setting for viewing the stars. This is a laconic proposal that positions itself in contrast to the landscape while also being at one with it. The addition of this interesting new Observatory at Kielder adds to the remarkable (and growing) collection of inspired commissions undertaken by the Kielder Partnership."
Peter Sharpe, Kielder Partnership's Art & Architecture Curator, said:
"We faced a hard task selecting a winner from the many innovative schemes put forward. After much deliberation, we unanimously chose a winner whose enthusiasm was evident from the start and whose proposal represents the strongest combination of innovative design and essential practicality that will be an absolute necessity for those who will use the observatory once it is complete.
"We are all looking forward to working with Charles Barclay Architects in the months ahead."



Challenge To provide electrical power for the Kielder Skyspace in Kielder Forest
Existing Nothing
Solution A combined wind & solar energy system with energy storage, inverter unit, self-adjusting timers for sunrise/sunset, control equipment to provide 230VAC “mains equivalent” power to run fibre-optic lighting system to light the Skyspace for visitors.
Tech Spec - 2 x AIR Industrial wind turbines on 6m free standing masts (no guys)
- 1.4kWp solar arry with wiring harness and charge controllers
- Energy storage in ELECSOL 220Ah Calcium maintenance free batteries
- Trace PS2212 charger inverter unit with 230VAC output
- Solar time Clock & Control Equipment
Photo Gallery
2  AIR wind turbines in Summer
Result By utilising a combined wind and solar energy system we have been able to maximise the wind power for the winter, and the solar power for the summer with the best of both resources at other times. This system provides 230VAC pure sinewave power to run the metal halide light sources for the fibre-optic lighting within the Skyspace and the timers. In the event of a prolonged period of NO WIND - NO SUN a portable engine generator can be coupled to the system to charge the batteries.
Specials Ther are Skyspaces in Arizona, Japan, and now Kielder, Northumberland. The Kielder Skyspace is the most remote from a power source and WINSUND were able to provide a cost-effective Alternative Energy System using the natural resources available at the site.

Visit the Skyspace (in person) - a new visual experience (- and admire the wind and solar energy system that makes it possible)