Over the last year, our project to build a planetarium in Orange NSW has taken many twists and turns. Most have centred around cost, as you might expect.
The good news is that Orange City Council wants to build a planetarium, so long as we can work through the issues in designing as big a planetarium as possible for a limited budget.
To do this we have gone back and forth with architects, had numerous lively discussions with council staff and worked our way through several iterations of building design.
As soon as a close-to-final design has been agreed upon we will then immediately start the processes of applying for a DA and seeking funding. The design doesn’t have to perfect, just close enough that we can start the process. Once funding has been sourced, and OCC is putting in a significant amount to the project as seed funding, we can then start the design finalisation process to refine it.
We currently have what we hope is close to being the basic design for the building. We have a meeting in a couple of weeks to discuss these designs, but before that happens I would like to run the floor plan past everyone to get their thoughts and impressions. Keep in mind that we are aware of some design flaws already with the floor plan and will be bringing these up in the meeting, but rather than taint everyone’s view by listing them here, we would really appreciate it if you could run your eye over the plan and let us know what you think, good or bad. That way, when we have the meeting, we can argue for design changes based on thoughts gleaned from the Australasian planetarium community, as well as our own.
To give you an idea of scale, these designs are currently working on a 9m diameter dome, although we are still pushing to have the budget extended to allow for an 11m diameter dome. We are only after general impressions and comments at the moment (that’s too wide, not enough room here, you need space for this, etc.) so there is no need to get too specific. Any comments can be either posted here or sent directly to me. I look forward to hearing from you all sometime within the next couple of weeks!