SAAO / REPUBLIC OBSERVATORY (PHASE 1)

Location: Sutherland, Cape Province, South Africa
Date: 1979
Practice:Junior Partner: Burgh Doherty Bryant and Partners (now BILD Architects)
Role: Project Architect
Client: CSIR

Description

  • Sutherland is a town with 2,754 inhabitants located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.
  • Known for having some of the clearest and darkest night skies in the world, primarily due to its remote and arid location as well as its altitude of 1,458 metres (4,780 ft) above sea level.
  • For this reason, Sutherland hosts the telescopes of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), which today includes the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere.
  • The architect’s objective was to design buildings around the constraints of function, scientific purpose and performance, with a form that is self-contained.