The brief called for a new exhibition space and state of the art planetarium to tell the story of timekeeping, reusing an assemblage of tired buildings at the southern end of the park. The South Building has been restored and successfully reworked to accommodate four new galleries and visitor facilitieswith a stunning double helix staircase. The Altazimuth building now works as an observatory.
Between them is the centrepiece: a new planetarium in the form of a tilted bronze cone, a tactile sculptural object much stroked by visitors. But the brilliance of the scheme lies as much in the making of outdoor space as it does in the builidngs. The ground has been cleverly lifted and tilted allowing an entrance to be neatly tucked underneath. The architects have seized the opportunity to create an original work of architecture.