Astronomy Base Facility

Smithsonian Institution Astronomy Base Facility

Hilo, Hawaii
Completed 2004

The SMA Base Facility accommodates the scientific and administrative staff supporting the Smithsonian’s astronomy activities on the summit of Mauna Kea.  It includes laboratory spaces for the design, construction, repair and maintenance of instruments used at the summit. Additional spaces are provided for permanent and visiting astronomers, conference room, library, display/exhibit area and outdoor deck.

The facility reflects the image of the Smithsonian Institution as a respected scientific organization with commitment to astronomical exploration. It is modern and technologically-based but appropriate with regards to the unique culture and character of Hilo, using building materials suitable for Hilo’s rainy weather conditions. Built on a sloping site, it is oriented in response to daylighting opportunities and views toward Hilo Bay and Mauna Kea.


Honolulu Chapter, American Institute of Architects
Jack C. Lipman Members’ Choice Award, 2004
Honolulu Chapter, American Institute of Architects
Award of Excellence, 2004