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Planetarium Almetyevsk


To build a unique facility in an abandoned park.

The customer planned to install a regular summer dome without heating. After studying the project, I suggested to improve it by installing a glass facade, making insulation with PIR panels, and organizing a planetarium inside attracting visitors all year round. Given the swampy terrain, we insisted on a geological survey and conducted it. Besides, we recommended using a tent with drawings instead of plain white. Our designer developed an exclusive graphic print. 


All the work (according to the contract) had to be done in two months. The responsibility was enormous! We knew that the facility would be inspected by the President of Tatarstan on the date marked on the calendar.


The city of Almetyevsk, Republic of Tatarstan


First difficulties

Why were the deadlines tight from the beginning? Because initially, the contract required a dome without a planetarium, as simple as possible. However, later the project included:

  • insulation,
  • heating,
  • other service lines,
  • a planetarium inside.


Thus, the amount of work had increased drastically, unlike the time to complete it. 


Everyone had doubts, but I believed that we would make it.

In order to meet the deadline, I developed a tight schedule. The team's actions were scheduled by the hour. We worked around the clock and checked everything three times a day. We involved not only our specialists but also local ones. We strictly controlled the delivery of materials and tools at the construction site. We managed to eliminate idle time. All our construction halls started working simultaneously so we quickly manufactured the metal frame, tents, and decorative inner cloth. We poured the concrete foundation.


Heat engineering

There are very few specialists in Russia who understand the thermal engineering of dome structures. However, our engineers are experts in this field. We created a flexibly adjustable system adapted to the changeable climate of Tatarstan. Designers made ventilation calculations, selected heating and air conditioning equipment, planned its placement based on the dome's size and the surrounding area. The modern air handling unit heats, cools, and automatically pumps in fresh air depending on the number of guests. The system can be controlled with a phone. 



When we designed the podium, we preferred a metal quick-assembly construction, because it is easily adjustable in height and can withstand heavy loads. Just imagine, heavy elevators drove on the podium during installation, but it did not affect it at all. This construction is really durable! 


Thanks to the podium's insulation and multi-layered structure, children run around inside the dome shoelessly. Even in winter. Even though there are no warm floors. 

For the finish, we used Belgian rubber-backed carpeting. It is nonflammable and soft. We chose the material carefully, considering all the characteristics. We needed a certain height of fibers to dampen the sounds and eliminate a domed space's acoustic effects. 



It took one day to assemble the tent's frame. The construction's area is more than 300 square meters and its height is 10 meters. A crane lifting the structure's tiers quickly helped to finish the task.



The area of the tent cover was more than 600 square meters. It took two hours and a team of 14 people to stretch it onto the frame. 

It is worth mentioning that we make tents as solid as possible, although they are much more difficult to produce and install than assembled from separate parts. However, it pays off later when it is raining and snowing. A one-piece tent keeps heat better and collects less condensation.



A team of specialists delivered and assembled the glass facade. Its total weight is three tons. We attached it to the aluminum frame, which we designed and made ourselves. On the outside, the facade is covered with a layer of PVC film facilitating maintenance and helping maintain the glass's transparency. 

The ventilated facade that we designed is another unique solution. We were inspired by Finnish ventilation technologies and provided a layer between the tent and the glass. It minimizes condensation and adds about 10 years to the facility's service life.



We needed to turn the dome into a turnkey project, so we helped the customer with the interior design. We ordered a Parade of Planets art object, poufs in the cinema hall, and many other things. The dome's inner surface, like the planetarium hall, is made of projection fabric. This means that if desired, a graphic and light show can be held there.


Advertising and marketing

Our customer assumed that the facility would host guests every day from 9:00 to 17:00. Like a library! What about parents who want to drop in here after work with their children? What about preschoolers and schoolchildren who are free after school and kindergarten? What about young people, students, couples in love? I gave recommendations on launching the project, advertising, and marketing. I suggested a development concept.

My team got involved: we developed a logo, a website, designed social networks, created showtimes (like in a cinema) and outlined the positioning. We attracted partners, circuses, and schools.



In order to improve the area around the dome, the city administration engaged contractors. In a few days, a large complex of playgrounds grew there. We installed architectural lighting.


We met the deadline! On September 2, 2018, there was a grand opening attended by the head of the Republic of Tatarstan. The president praised the idea and its implementation. He even stayed at the event beyond protocol, because he was interested in the construction technology used.


"We were sure you wouldn't make it," the customer representatives said and shook my hand.


"We live in the house across the street; we saw your work through the window. It's something incredible. You're magicians!" - these are the words of a passerby who came up to me and thanked me for my work.


Twenty days after the official opening, there was a full launch with a concert: they worked from morning till midnight, 15 thousand citizens visited the festival, three thousand guests visited Sphere during the day.


Today, Sphere is a planetarium with a movie collection, providing the opportunity to create the author's content. This is a full-fledged entertainment and educational center and a new attraction of Almetyevsk. The large hall holds workshops and classes for children. On weekdays - gymnastics for the older generation. The hall is regularly rented for events. Here, the city receives important guests.

The idea of the large transparent window paid off! From the street, you can see what happens inside, and it is quite interesting - it attracts potential visitors. The planetarium is steadily bringing in revenue to the city treasury, which is rare for a budget project. We are especially pleased that we have received a positive response from the citizens.


"The place is not only entertaining but also develops the outlook of children and adults. In the cinema, you can enjoy the mesmerizing starry sky, the beauty of nature, and just watch an informative movie. It's a wonderful place for residents and visitors. I recommend it 100 percent" - this is just one of the enthusiastic reviews I found on the Internet, and there are dozens of them!




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