The official inauguration ceremony for the new buildings of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) took place on December 4. Two new structures were inaugurated, including an office building and a technical building, maintaining the same architectural style as the original headquarters, built in 1980. Both buildings are considered "green buildings": they have much lower energy consumption than is usual for similar buildings, and the heating system uses water heated by geothermal energy.
Cylindrical in shape, the diameter of the technical building resembles the 39 meters of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The new facility will allow new instruments and technological innovations to be tested, contributing to the development of the research campus in Garching bei München. It will also house one of the world's largest digital archives of astronomical data.
The national company TurboConstroi was responsible for the construction of a substantial part of the building, executing the reinforced concrete structure of these new facilities in a contract worth about 1 million euros. The new buildings were designed by the architects Auer+Weber+Assoziierte and the construction was carried out by BAM Deutschland AG.