Mark Wray Architects

We The Curious Planetarium

Refurbishment of the planetarium and associated spaces for a new 3D capability.



We The Curious


Alteration of the Planetarium to increase functionality and flexibility

Mark Wray Architects were commissioned in 2014 to look at the refurbishment and alteration of the planetarium and space gallery at We The Curious, a popular science centre on Bristol’s harbourside (formerly At-Bristol). As well as the creation of a stage area within the spherical structure, we also designed storage areas and new a separate entrance to the planetarium within the Grade II listed main building.


Previously the facility could only be accessed through the main exhibition area of the science centre, which restricted its use. Through analysis and understanding of the existing building we devised a new fully accessible route that creates a separate ‘out-of-hours’ entrance with minimal impact on the listed fabric.

Part of the project was the installation of a new projection system making the 100-seat space the UK’s first 3D planetarium. This, combined with a new stage area, provides the charity with a more flexible facility that maximises usage and increases revenue generation. The project was funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Bristol City Council, with the aim of opening up the Planetarium to new opportunities within the city of Bristol, under the 'Bristol is Open' project.


Location:  Bristol Harbourside

Client: At-Bristol/We The Curious

Structure: Momentum Engineering

Project manager:

Contractor: CW Duke

Status: Completed 2015

Photography: Lee Pullen

Team: Mark Wray, Simon Rayner