Residential Observatory

Private Residence

An optical telescope retractable roof at a Northern Minnesota private lake lodge opens to provide a 360 degree, unobstructed view of the starlit sky.

Observatory Retractable Roof

Uni-Systems Engineering designed, supplied, and installed the observatory’s 20 by 22-foot retractable roof mechanization. The roof is operated with pushbutton controls, and opens and closes in less than 4 minutes. When open, the roof is fully cantilevered out of sight behind the observatory, allowing the homeowner to enjoy a 180 degree, unobstructed view of the starlit sky.

When opening, the front of the roof is pivoted up 12 degrees by two 5-ton ball screw actuators driven by 1.5 horsepower motors. Once the roof is pivoted, the front  of the roof is clear to slide past the top of the telescope. A guide roller system with a rack and pinion system  drives the roof 18 feet back, and the ball screw pivots the roof back down.

General Information

Completed: 2007
Location: Minnesota
Scope of Work: Design, Supply, Installation

Project Team

Architect: Larry Pearson
General Contractor: Nor-Son Construction
Structural Engineer: M3 Engineering



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