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OCULUS PLANETARIUM

CHICAGO, IL

Located on the historic Museum Campus, Oculus Planetarium rises a mile above the city to host clear views of the night sky that were otherwise lost to light pollution.

The program is distributed between multiple tiers of planetarium space, making the full experience a voyage into the sky where an upward-facing observatory caps the building. As visitors ascend the various tiers, the planetarium experience becomes a journey with a visual reward for those who venture the 5,820’ climb. 

To achieve such great heights, a tiered concrete core extending 3,690' above ground is buttressed by an exterior steel diagrid that runs the height and spans the width of the building.

The new planetarium typology encourages visitors to engage with science, nature and astronomy. The intermittent commercial and residential programs were incorporated to give the planetarium financial support from investors and tenants who want to capitalize on the sky-high real estate.