SFU Observatory Park

bbp sfu observatory park exterior
Landscape Architect

PWL Partnership Landscape Architects


Burnaby, BC






40 m² plus plaza



The award-winning Trottier Observatory sits atop Burnaby Mountain on the picturesque campus of Simon Fraser University and is designed to withstand a wide array of environmental and seismic conditions.

The observatory and surrounding hardscape elements turn a small, formerly under-used corner of the campus into an interactive landscape dedicated to scientific exploration. The mountain-top site is exposed to variable environmental conditions that, combined with the program’s strict seismic requirements, posed significant structural challenges to the project. In response, cast in place concrete was used extensively, including the pedestal supporting the main telescope. The specially detailed telescope foundations are isolated for resistance to ambient ground and building vibrations and the motorized rotating roof with telescope shutter aperture required exacting tolerances in varying temperature conditions.

The surrounding hardscape with water features, astro-themed sculptures, and protective berms was specifically developed for stargazers to set up telescopes and participate in interactive learning in a nighttime outdoor setting as well as providing a calm respite space on this active campus.


2017 CSLA National Award of Excellence, Small-Scale Public Landscape

2016 Illuminating Engineering Society of North America: Illumination Awards

Project Images

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