Extension planned for Chichester Planetarium
Plans have been unveiled to expand and improve the Sir Patrick Moore Building at the South Downs Planetarium.
The plans would see the extension on the west side of the building in Chichester’s Kingsham Road to create a larger entrance lobby and welcome area to the building.
Most of the current Sir Patrick Moore building will be retained as existing, the main development is to significantly alter and extend the existing entrance space.
The main changes proposed include:
* The demolition of the existing foyer and exhibition and draught lobby, the demolition
of a couple of internal walls.
* A proposed new extension
to the North-west of the existing building for a shop and café.
* A proposed new Northeast fire exit and wall.
* Raised floors, with underfloor heating in new spaces.
* New party wall to separate the development from the adjacent barn.
* Alterations to existing planetarium spaces and layout.
* New access ramp and stairs to the building, and alteration to existing car park levels.
The design and access written by Dr John Mason on behalf of the South Downs Planetarium said: “The planetarium will not change from its existing function, but the proposal will help expand and improve how it operates.
“To achieve this, the proposed development will provide a new entrance stair/ ramp into a lobby area.
"Following this a large open space will accommodate a café/shop, providing a space to congregate or offer alternative hospitality events.
“A glazed screen will then lead to a new exhibition space with a high roof, which will provide an opportunity for larger exhibits than is currently possible.
“From this point the layout will be similar, however, less crowded and with more space available for exhibits.
"The existing planetarium facilities need expanding and improving to meet current expectations of the South Downs Planetarium Trust and its users.
“School trips form a significant percentage of visits and currently there is no space for schools to congregate at the beginning or end of visits, which can make things difficult.”