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Fleischmann Planetarium

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1963, Raymond Hellmann. N. Virginia St.
  • Fleischmann Planetarium (Bret Morgan)

Set into a hillside at the north end of campus, the Fleischmann Planetarium takes advantage of the slope with 40-foot-tall windows on its south facade. The showpiece of the planetarium is its butterfly roof—an 11,000-square-foot, concrete-shelled hyperbolic paraboloid supported at only two points although weighing 180 tons. The combination of a paraboloid longitudinal section and a hyperbolic cross section gives the roof its distinctive butterfly shape. The large open space created by its span contains a planetarium designed to give the viewer a sense of being inside a sphere. The window wall on the south facade floods this space with daylight, and at night the building glows when lit from the inside.

Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta


What's Nearby


Julie Nicoletta, "Fleischmann Planetarium", [Reno, Nevada], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Nevada, Julie Nicoletta. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 69-69.

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