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Astronomy Centre Lake Tākapo

Canterbury Commercial

This $7M state of the art multimedia indoor astronomy centre is an experience that combines both science and tātai Aoraki (Māori astronomy). This joint venture with Earth and Sky and Ngai Tahu is an impressive immersive dark sky experience that encompasses visual effects, presentations, interactive features and stories connecting the audience to the life of New Zealand's amazing night sky.

The 1200m2 new build on the Tākapo lakefront is an attraction that consists of a commercial, hospitality and office area featuring a Dark Sky Diner, and also offers Astro-tourism evening stargazing experiences. This world-first indoor experience holds the significant 125-year-old Brashear telescope which was a highlight for our team to install.

The build itself was complex. With its unique and complex structure of curved walls and installation of the Brashear and telescope dome areas this project was a real highlight in our Canterbury teams portfolio. Managed with careful forecasting and planning to meet and complete these complex construction details, our team delivered a quality project, handed over the project in time for the important opening day on the 1st July.

To have "dark sky" you need a remote location. Perfect for the stars - challenging for a build. The remote location on the shores of Lake Tākapo required clever solutions to logistical challenges.  Temperamental weather conditions in Tākapo and travel to site were again managed through well-thought planning and communication alongside our Trade Partners and team. 

Together with Sheppard & Rout Architects, Dark Sky Project, Ngāi Tahu Tourism and our valued Trade Partners, our team are proud of the delivery of this significant project. This incredible project holds a special place in our team's hearts especially as it stands to protect the purest night skies in the world. Congratulations to all those involved.

For more information on the Dark Sky Project, you can find their website here, Dark Sky Project.