This was a new build commission for an artist and amateur astronomer working in a tropical country. The house is called Urania, after the Goddess muse of Astronomy.
The intense heat required an open space that would provide constant natural ventilation, whilst the glaring sunlight called for a design that could provide shade throughout the day for the artist. A Small Studio designed a fragile and transparent cube supported by pivoting walls that can be adjusted to create different areas. A strong concrete shell –completely independent from the inner cube- protects the fragile interior with openings designed according to the sunlight path.
The telescope is concealed in the roof terrace with a mobile structure enclosing it. To prevent movement, the telescope is stationed on an independent pile foundation that rises to the roof as a column but is separated on every floor from the main slab. The lavish vegetation grows uncontrollably in this climate, so gardens have been allowed to enter the house and blur the boundaries between inner and outer space.