Urukia
Architecture & Design Magazine

Aurora borealis arctic observatory – The wings of the dawn goddess

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The new sculptural architectural concept on Urukia designed by Jensen Liu and Sally Hsu.

Siivet aurora, the Aurora Borealis Arctic Observatory is an architectural project situated in argument between the historic mystic of the northern lights and the urban landmark of Rovaniemi. The stories of the aurora phenomenon may now have a scientific explanation, this has not diminish the fascination for this seasonal event, nature’s most fascinating live painting continues to attract countless trekkers to search for this phenomenal experience, for that we have designed a hotel to capture and enrich this priceless journey.

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Through years of evolution the architectural design and construction has yet to proceed greatly in the use of technology. The architectural discipline continues to be a step behind the technological advancement of the modern age. This proposal signifies a desire to challenge the use of technology in architecture, not for merely convenience but an all-round addition to form and function. How does architecture embrace the primitive desire of its occupant to immerse in a mysterious fantasy yet also project forward into the future way of living? This proposal explores the awakening moment of the Eos (the goddess of dawn). The awakening enhances a natural phenomenon that continues to amaze audiences.

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The project believes sustainability should not be a implemented merely due to society’s expectation on green architecture. Sustainability encourages precise consideration of the site context. An efficient sustainable system helps minimize the disturbance of the site and more important implemented as a feature that adds to the architecture not just functionally but also formally. The aurora is signifying the goddess of dawn splitting open the night sky breaking free of the dark skyline. The architectural design signifies Eos’s wings responding to the natural aurora phenomenon, as the magnetic field and wind undulates, it follows throughout echoing nature’s best painting.

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The building has chosen reflective stainless steel to be the façade finish, this reflective surfaces aims to capture the aurora and blend within the context. The architecture sits within the terrain; it minimizes the conflict with the site. This nestling aims to utilize the earth thermal energy to achieve insulation.

The architectural proposalis established upon the Eos’s wings responding to the natural aurora phenomenon, as the magnetic field and wind undulates, it follows throughout echoing nature’s best painting. The roof top has installed LED light tubes, as the aurora surface, the light tubes will respond to the magnetic forces, creating a spectacle of dance within nature. The architecture nestle within the natural landscape, the building center has a seamless water surface that is able to seamlessly connect with the horizon ahead, creating the sensation of reaching into the sky.

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The architecture has installed a lighting pool with the function of a skylight in the entrance foyer of the building. In the cold harsh winter, the visitors and occupants within the interior can still enjoy a panorama scenery and rich daylight. This installment act as insulation, the interior temperature will be able to be maintained for comfort. This is ensures the visual experiences does not lesson the comfort within the building.

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The use of geothermal energy assists the sustainability implementation of the architecture.The extracted geothermal energy is transformed into electricity and heat, this provides for the heating requirement of the building and the hot springs leisure space within, this also contributes to the energy required to power the roof top façade during the aurora season.

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To ensure the building is sufficient and sustainable, geothermal energy is captured to transform into electricity for the generation of a magnetic field. This power is used to generate the magnetic field required to active the façade of the building. The force field allows the LED wings to undulate respond to the Aurora and the force all around. The water collected from snow and rain will be recycled to be used within the building in all leisure hot springs and water features.

The building site is chosen in the middle axis of the river, to avoid light contamination from the city and provide best viewing opportunities for the visitors.

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