*Posted by warikl on behalf of Monica Zetlin
During my September European Holiday, I squeezed in a quick visit to the Zeiss Grossplanetarium in Berlin where I caught up with the newly appointed Head of the Planetarium, Tim Florian Horn.
Opened in 1987, and located within the former East Berlin suburb of Prenzlauer, the Planetarium is a testament to Soviet-style architecture and aspirations. It is one of the largest stellar theatres in Europe, and incorporates not only a large (23m) planetarium theatre, but was envisaged as a cultural center with a restaurant, & a smaller conventional theatre.
The equipment was state of the art for its time, and the Planetarium building itself was built as just one part of a grander socialist dream, with residential buildings and a park surrounding it.
Under Tim’s leadership the Planetarium is about to undergo a major renovation and re-fit, starting from March 2014. While updating essential services such as fire safety and air conditioning, a brand new 165 degree dome will be installed. The dome will be built to avoid shadows when using the new star projector and a 6.5K fullome system. Visitors will also be treated to new seats, new ticket counter, and a brand new show.
Tim explained that it is still important to respect the original design and aesthetics of the building. Particularly in light of the Berlin tendency towards “Ostaglie” – a nostalgia for life under the socialist system of the former East Berlin. The plans are to keep the emphasis on the Planetarium as being a cultural center for much more than astronomy – indeed, it will be the new science theatre for the magnificent city of Berlin.
Good luck Tim – can’t wait to see the re-opening in 2015 of this grand venue. Hopefully some Australian content can feature!
Tim holds the key presented to the first Head of the Planetarium when it opened in 1987