Kielder Observatory


Kielder Observatory
Kielder ObservatoryDesigned by Charles Barclay Architects, this new observatory draws astronomers to a peaceful setting in Kielder Water and Forest Park.

In 2005 an open design competition was launched to design a new observatory to be located in the hills surrounding Kielder Village in Northumberland.

The competition attracted an unprecedented response with nearly 230 entries from across the globe. The fantastic level of interest proved testament to the mass appeal Kielder draws in architectural circles. Six teams were selected to attend an interview and Charles Barclay Architects were selected as the overall winner. Their winning design was likened to the 'deck of a ship sailing above the Kielder landscape'.

The new Observatory was opened in May 2008 and takes advantage of Kielder's dark skies and lack of light pollution – users of the facility include specialist, amateur astronomers, scientific researchers and small schools groups.

Peter Sharpe, Curator of art and architecture, Kielder Partnership said: 'Without RIBA, we would never have come across Charles Barclay Architects. The RIBA introduced us to the idea of an anonymous competition, which puts everyone on a level playing field, offers opportunities for lesser known practices to be considered, and removed the possibility that as clients we would be tempted to choose a practice we already knew.'


RIBA Award 2009

Civic Trust Award 2009

Timber in Construction – Pride in Public Buildings Award 2008


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