Kielder Observatory


Surespan design and manufactured two sets of bespoke double leaf hatch doors for the Kielder Observatory located in England’s largest forest in Northumberland. 

Products supplied

We supplied;

Surespan design and manufactured two sets of bespoke double leaf hatch doors for the roof and the front of the Observatory’s two rotating turrets – one to house a 20” Pulsar manual telescope and the other for a small Mead 14” telescope. 


These hatches are electrically operated and have been specially designed to open in a specific sequence using remote control via 24v dc actuators.


The project

As part of the Kielder Art and Architecture program, Charles Barclay Architects designed Kielder Observatory for the Forestry Commission.

The all-timber observatory was constructed from Douglas fir with larch cladding, the pier-like building has rotating turrets that house two permanent telescopes and an observation deck. The turrets can be rotated through 360 degrees.

The observatory generates its energy using a wind turbine and photovoltaic panels and includes a composting toilet.

The observatory has received 2009 awards from the RIBA and The Civic Trust and featured in the inaugural World Architecture Festival.

Get in touch.

Want to learn more about the projects we offer? 

More case studies

Surespan Homepage Slider Image 3


Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Products Supplied: Glazed Roof Hatches
Product Category: Glazed Access

United Arab Emirates

Burj Khalifa

Location: Dubai, UAE
Products Supplied: Submarine Type Roof Hatch
Product Category: Roof Access