New planetarium and observatory opens in France

The planetarium and observatory named Orionis is a new cultural destination in the city of Douai in northern France, inspired by the elliptical and continuous movement of the stars.

Situated on a remarkable site, between the adjacent Scarpe river, the archaeological museum Arkéos and a nearby residential complex, the project aims to harmoniously connect these elements and create an accessible and inspiring space for visitors. Snøhetta’s design is a unified building with curves that wrap around the two domes of the projection room and the observatory.

The Planetarium is one of the first projects to be completely conceived, managed and built by Snøhetta’s studio in Paris. We are extremely excited to showcase the Snøhetta approach for delivering high-quality cultural and educational buildings in France. 

​Oliver Page Managing Director of Snøhetta Paris

Photos by Jad Sylla 

In close collaboration with CET Ingénierie, Impact Conseil et Ingénierie, Cicanord, Studio Dap and Atelier Silva Landscaping, Snøhetta has been working on the building since late 2019, seeing the project through from concept to construction. Orionis opened to the public on the 13th of May 2023.