Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles, California 

Designers: Chermeyeff & Geismar

Improving a Cosmic View

After nearly 67 years of public use by roughly 70 million visitors, this major renovation and expansion of the Observatory upgraded and doubled its size without changing the classic appearance of the building. Guided by a 1990 Master Plan, the City of Los Angeles and non-profit Friends of The Observatory crafted a unique public-private partnership to renew the Observatory for generations to come. In 2002 the observatory closed and a world-class team of architects, exhibit designers, astronomy experts, construction workers, exhibit fabricators, instrument and equipment builders, and many others worked carefully and expertly for four years to reopen Southern California’s gateway to the cosmos.

Astronomical Renovation

Four goals guided all planning for the project:

  • renovate all elements of the existing building
  • develop a state-of-the-art, immersive planetarium environment
  • expand public space to improve the visitor experience
  • design and develop an inspiring new exhibit program.

The renewed building reopened to the public on November 2, 2006.

Among the additions are a new presentation theater and two large new exhibit areas. kubik maltbie fabricated and installed over 60 new exhibits, including interactive and educational stations, and created dozens of A/V and multimedia elements using the most advanced exhibit components available.

“We were very pleased both by our working relationship and with the results of the work. I have recommended their team on numerous occasions because of their skill, commitment, and excellence. They would be a tremendous asset to any project team.”

Mark A. Pine

Deputy Director, Griffith Observatory