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Charles Barclay Architects © ​David Grandorge
Competition | Past

​Kielder Observatory

The Observatory takes advantage of Kielder’s dark skies and lack of light pollution – users include specialist and amateur astronomers, researchers and small school groups.

Open Culture and Leisure

Charles Barclay Architects were selected as winners of the competition

The Kielder Partnership, through their commissioning programme Art and Architecture at Kielder, developed this project to create a small observatory located in the hills surrounding Kielder village in Northumberland.

The design is in keeping with the ethos of the forest, not only in style but also being environmentally friendly, and as such it is solar and wind powered.

The observatory has featured in BBC's Sky at Night Television show, and in Robson Green's Tales from Northumberland.

"Without the 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."Peter Sharpe, Curator of Art and Architecture, Kielder Partnership.
  • RIBA Award 2009
  • Civic Trust Award 2009
  • Visit England Gold Award 2013
  • North East Tourism Awards 2014 - Small Visitor Attraction (Silver Award)
  • North East Tourism Awards 2015 - Small Visitor Attraction (Gold Award)
  • Northumberland What's On Where Award 2015 - Best Visitor Attraction
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