a series of architectural concepts attempting to induce the overview effect (but grounded)

May 2023–ongoing

Graphics: Zofka Kofta
edition numbered RS 120
print: paperiso.com
mock-ups of armillary spheres: onimo.pl

Interested in collaboration? If you are working on similar topics or are eager to contribute or support our project, please drop us an email.


We are immersed in water in its gaseous state, submerged in matter that is in a constant state of flux. We live at the bottom of an ocean of air, and the storm seems to be coming.

Now, in preparation for future meteorological unknowns, we need to better understand the elements. Our project aims to revisit the foundations of meteorology and thermodynamics. The presence of a thin layer of air around our planet enables us to observe meteorological optics. Until recently, we were not aware of its importance. Today we focus on the connection between our living planet and these celestial wonders. We want to re-establish awareness of, among other things:

  • The Earth’s shadow, the fleeting moment when the rotation of our planet is visible. Unfamiliarity with this phenomenon can lead to confusion with smog. Many people who observe it experience the overview effect (but grounded);
  • The non-roundness of the solar disc. Studying the distortion of the Sun caused by thermal stratification of the air can reveal various thermodynamic interdependencies;

  • Earthshine refers to the ashen glow on the Moon’s darkened part. This is the light of our atmosphere reflected from the silver globe. Monitoring its changing brightness helps to track our planet’s albedo, an important indicator of global warming.

We employ the methodologies of architects and draft blueprints for new observatories in the form of follies, landforms, or garden designs. These, however, are merely pretexts for telling the story of the most awe-inspiring piece of architecture on our planet – the dome we all share.

We began distributing self-published leaflets. We led “crepuscular walks” for small groups. We collectively and physically experimented with how to navigate on local tides in the ocean of air. It is possible to have a personal experience of the heavens above and a sense of wonder, even in times of such dire climate prospects. Our aim is to share our findings with a wider audience of aeronauts.

In May and July we conducted crepuscular walks and with the public collectively tested set of old meteorological tools. It includes, among others, a cyanometer to measure the ‘blueness’ of the sky, a cloud index, a portable weathervane, a series of armillary spheres, and Iceland spar used to locate the sun in twilight conditions. Choreographed moments showed the audience how their own bodies can act as sundials. Photo: Centrala 2023

Archeoastronomy sites globally serve as a reminder that architecture has connected communities with celestial events for thousands of years. Today, only few people observe what is happening above the weather, such as the most visible constellation of this month or the current phase of the moon. We are attempting to demonstrate the architecture of the atmosphere itself, highlighting the extraordinary phenomena that occur within its structure. Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Photo: Centrala, 2016

This summer we are looking at plants to see which ones we can include in the design of the Silver Garden. We will design a ‘lunar’ composition, an achromatic space to observe the nuances of light from the moon, earthshine and, with luck and rain, a moonbow, a lunar rainbow. We plan to publish the Silver Garden project in the autumn in the form of another leaflet to popularise observations of the glow of our atmosphere. Photo: Centrala 2023

To bring the celestial scale into the architectural imagination, we designed a series of armillary spheres visualising water in our Local Universe. It serves as an illustration of the stories we lead during our walks through the microclimates.

We used them for the first time during the microclimatic walk we conducted on May 6th, 2023 as part of the Postartistic Assembly at the 14th Gwangju Biennale. More informations

We wish to study of elements and work with noctilucent clouds, parhelia, crepuscular rays, shimmer, zodiacal light, luminous pillar, upside-down rainbow, counterglow, alpenglow. We want to admire aero-optical phenomena attentively, to be able to notice new oddities in an ever more surprising atmosphere. In the old treatises we find more information about meteorology than about the beauty of the human body. Let us concentrate on this aeronautical fragment of Da Vinci’s diagram. Cut-out, Centrala 2022