Client: Alamo Colleges - San Antonio College
Architect: Durand-Hollis Rupe Architects
Location: San Antonio, TX
Delivery: Construction Manager-at-Risk
We renovated the existing planetarium and added a two-story education center and observatory with a third-floor outdoor deck. The planetarium features a renovated theater with a new projection screen, sound system, and expanded seating. The Challenger Center provides space mission simulations with the elevator serving as the space shuttle ride from the first floor to the second floor. A cone-shaped concrete silo with a 90,000-pound concrete platform is the main entry into the observatory’s 360-degree rotating dome.
We preserved the 50-year-old concrete dome of the existing planetarium and built the learning center and observatory around it. For the two-story learning center, we erected a massive steel truss conformed to the dome’s shape, that divides the dome so the entrance is inside the building while its shape is visible from the exterior. We installed an Infinity curtain wall system alongside the truss that follows the ten-degree angle of the truss and the architectural concrete wall from west to east.