Since about May 2003, I have been
thinkin about how to build an observatory in my back yard. Somehow, it
was clear to me from the beginning that I wanted a roll-off roof hut, a
dome was out of the question. The reason was that I heard lots of bad news
about domes - not enough air circulation was the major one. Plus: I can
build a roll-off roof hut myself (I think...).
Luckily my old 6" Refractor is pretty much the same size as the new 16"
Cassegrain. I set it up and put wood on the floor to find the minimum space
I need. It turns out to be 250 cm by 250 cm. In the end I decided that
I want 280 cm x 350 cm - just a bit bigger to have some margin, plus room
on one side to allow for a chart table. In the end I decided to add a little
seperate room to house computers, monitors, and myself. The idea is that
this room will be insulated and can be kept warmish. In the end the ground
floor size is 280 cm by 500 cm.
Modifying a commercial garden hut or building it from scratch?
I discussed readly available garden houses ("tuin huisjes") and self-built
ones. I looked at a zillion of web pages and back issues of "Telescope
Making" to 1980 (23 years ago!). The conclusion was: I have to build my
own house! Why?
I found special wooden logs for garden huts in the nearby do-it-yourself
store and decided to go for it (in the end I did not go to the do-it-yourself
shop, but decided for a special wood dealer, see http://www.pelana.nl).
The commercial huts were either too small or too big, heavy, and expensive.
Normal garden sheds are held together by the roof - in this case, of course,
the roof cannot be a structural element as it moves!
The only problem was: I did not dare to anchor the house in the ground
myself. My gardener solved the problem. When asked about "how do I make
sure the house doesn't go down the slope to the channel behind my lot"
he said "why don't I build a platform for you?" - I immediately agreed
to that. He builds the grounds, I do the rest. He had asked me for a ground
plan, which you can see here (don't trust my Dutch spelling). It
is not the final drawing - really the door is now in the middle, and there
is another window to the right.
Note that I will orient the hut approximately east - west. Normally
people say you should orient it north - south. Well, if I did that it would
stand too much into my garden. And I couldn't really think of any disadvantages
anyway. To the east, where the roof goes when observing, there is a huge
tree blocking the view anyway, so not being able to point low makes no
This page created
by dvk, 10 Oct 2003 - last update 05 Jul 2004.
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