Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture

The Polaris Pavillion

The Polaris Pavilion

Pittsburgh, PA - March 2017
EPIC Metals™ Competition Entry.
In collaboration with Ritchie Ju. 


The Polaris Pavilion was developed in 3 days for the annual EPIC Metals™ Competition at the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture. The competition prompt for 2017 was to create a “prototype self-sufficient shelter to engage their students in learning about the universe through celestial observations.” The shelter was to allow view of the night sky, protect its inhabitants from the elements, and include sleeping spaces and an educational space.

The pavilion encourages visitors to engage with the night sky by making the first step of stellar observation (Finding the North Star) easier. The North Star (Polaris) can be located in the center of the main window, or by looking along the length of the roof from outside.

Visitors sleeping on the raised platforms on either side of the structure can continue to observe the stars as they lie down, through skylights, and windows adjacent to the sleeping areas. The windows in the sleeping areas are level with the sleeping plane and can be opened so that visitors can lie down and stick their heads outside to take in a more panoramic view of the sky.