The Regional Industrial Heritage Organization of Solingen in Germany has called for a competition to redevelop the local observation using an old spherical gas container in order to address the strong industrial character and historical context of the container and the local architecture.
‘Galileum Solingen’ is an entry from René van Zuuk Architekten.
The site is located on the edge of a residential area near a railroad, from which the steel spire of the old gas container is visible. With a diameter of 26 metres the container has a frame of eleven columns that rest on 3m high concrete foundations. The original design is pragmatic in its approach. A sphere was used as the most efficient model with the largest surface area available to function at the lowest cost.
The proposal will occupy the existing structure with an entrance to a back office, an entrance hall for 80 people, exhibition space with a planetarium and an observatory in the hemisphere. The base of the sphere is cut to provide an opening within the foundation that provides space for an entrance hall. Presentation rooms, offices and general amenities are located on the same level.