Project

Posted on:

Foster Observatory

Shared By

TomONeil, O'Neil Architects Inc


Project Name

Foster Observatory

Location

38263 Nixon Road




20132

Project Status

Built

Year Completed

2011

Size

500 sq. feet

Client/Owner

Mark Foster

Consultants

  • Structural Engineer: Aziz Paracha, United Structural Engineers, Inc.


Type

Other

View all (10) images

Project Description

The project is a private observatory in Loudoun County, Virginia. The structure is designed to resemble a farm silo, using local stone on the exterior to blend into the beautiful country garden setting. A structural steel frame supports the floors, stairs and exterior walls, while the concrete core, made of stacked storm sewer pipes, independently supports the telescope base to eliminate vibrations transmitting to the telescope. Trap doors and a custom boat davit were designed for the top floor level to hoist the telescope parts into place. Mark Foster, the owner and amateur astronomer, assembled and calibrated the telescope, which is now operational and taking beautiful photos of far away galexies. He also opens the observtory to local groups, such as the cub scouts, to help expand their interest in astronomy.
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