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Stardome Observatory and Planetarium recently received a mini-makeover by way of a galactic-inspired refurbishment.
Stardome has been sharing a love of space since 1967, in a spot in Auckland’s One Tree Hill Domain. As the organisation and interest in astronomy grew, Stardome extended its premises to include a function room. Opened in 1997, the Sun Room, has been used for special events, functions and as the meeting room for the Auckland Astronomical Society.
The Sun Room was recently reopened with a new astronomical feel and a new name to match; the Matariki Room, highlighting New Zealand’s connection with this star cluster.
Yellow 6, Auckland-based commercial interior design agency, was charged with the challenge – take a blank space and create a cosmos-inspired, multi-functional space. Suz Miller, Director at Yellow6 says, “We were inspired by the night sky and have created a star field ceiling using fibre optic LED lighting. Set in One Tree Hill, we couldn’t help but reflect nature in the space with natural wood and other materials.
Of course, we’ve also included nods to space technology with hints of the space station in hexagonal echo panel tiles and hi-gloss cabinetry.”
The star field ceiling is astronomically accurate and includes two skyscapes, one featuring the Southern Cross, the other highlighting Matariki and the surrounding constellations.
The room also incorporates environmentally friendly features in the Hex wall panels, which are made of 60% recycled PET, rubber flooring which includes recycled car tyre material, and LED lighting, which uses less power and has a longer lamp life.
“Matariki holds significant meaning in New Zealand culture. It marks the beginning of the Māori New Year and Matariki festival and in astronomical terms, resets the lunar calendar. We’ve renamed this room the ‘Matariki Room’ in recognition of this important star cluster and its cultural significance in New Zealand.
We are delighted with the finished space and are proud to launch our new Matariki Room.” says David Houldsworth, Stardome CEO.