Gitai Architects used rammed earth and stones to build the Landroom observatory in Israel’s Negev desert. Landroom is intended to function both as a shelter from the sun and an observatory at night. It measures just 6 square meters (65 square feet) and has space for only two people. It was built where it is easily accessible from the town of Mitzpe Ramon via a natural path.
The square building has a circular interior and an opening facing the desert with a built-in seat where travelers can rest. There is no roof to give visitors a view of the night sky framed by its pressed-earth walls. The studio described Landroom as “a minimal environmental structure.”
They used local materials – stones and soil from the surrounding desert – to construct the rammed-earth observatory. “The compiled layers of earth contain natural minerals and their molecules only get stronger with time,” the architect said. “Many sections of the Great Wall of China were built in this way.”
The project was commissioned by the town and the studio is currently also developing a large capsule hotel “in the same architectural spirit” for them. “The local community now see it as an example of how to build in the area,” he added.
Landroom was inspired by his newborn daughter, whom he wanted to show the importance of looking up to the sky for inspiration. “Landroom is a call to our ancient instinct to look up to the stars for guidance,” Gitai said. “Inspired by Esther, the queen of the stars, this project is an ode to the spirit, to creation and to freedom.”
Photography is by Dan Bronfeld.
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