University of Oulu

Northern lights observation centre

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Author: Zaritskaja, Julia1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu School of Architecture, Architecture
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 42.3 MB)
Pages: 37
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Zaritskaja, 2014
Publish Date: 2015-04-13
Thesis type: Master's thesis (tech)
Tutor: Mahlamäki, Rainer
Reviewer: Mahlamäki, Rainer
Ylimaula, Anna-Maija
Koiso-Kanttila, Jouni
Kjisik, Hennu
Hentilä, Helka-Liisa
Özer-Kemppainen, Özlem
Sanaksenaho, Matti
Aarnio, Petri


The project includes the design of the centre for northern lights observation in Finnish Lapland in Luosto ski-centre area. The western site of the project is surrounded by a 512 m high Luosto Hill which belongs to Pyhä-Luosto National Park. The area’s magnificent landscape attracts tourists all-year round for hiking and skiing, as well as for an annual Luosto Musical Festival that happens every summer. The stage and the seats of the festival are located on the north of the site and a big terraced parking lot is situated on the eastern part. The site is located on the 300 m high level above the sea, which makes it visually perfect for observing the northern lights; it is also situated further from the ski-centre to avoid light-pollution. The idea of designing this centre was consulted with the geophysicist from Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (that is situated in 40 km distance) who expressed the interest in having a science museum exhibition room for displaying old instruments, which have been used for the Northern Lights research. The close proximity to the Observatory would make the Centre get significance in terms of receiving scientific information for educational purpose of the visitors.

The project has an educational, recreational and observational function for visitors from all over the world that would come to Finland to know more about Aurora phenomena and get a chance to see it too. It consists of a main building (approx. 1650 m²), which includes exhibition rooms with storages, movie and lecture rooms, restaurant and 10 small cabins for visitors to stay over the night with the possibility to see the northern lights within the rooms. The design is focused mainly on 3 types of cabins around 30–40 m², that have a cozy and pleasant interior design, providing all the essential functions within the cabins. The structure is chosen to be prefabricated Cross-Laminated Timber panels that are assembled on the site and have a minimum footprint on the surrounding nature. The e-glass panels provide the possibility to keep the view clear even with the low temperatures.

The centre is designed to attract tourists and local people all-year round to study and observe Northern Lights Phenomena being close to nature.

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Copyright information: © Julia Zaritskaja, 2014. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.