This is the original Serenity Observatory at SCGO circa 2020 January. It is located out in the back lowlands which often are quite wet. We have been adding an earth berm over time to be able to walk out there without getting sopping wet feet. It was a stationary building with a flipopen roof.
All of the walls and roof were made with 5/8″ OSB and it did not weather well in the wet with only paint protection. So, plastic was added to the roof and building wrap to the walls and doors.

This is the 102mm Meade Schmidt Cass telescope that was inside the observatory on a Meade LXD55 mount. The observatory was designed with remote imaging in mind, not visual. Having said that, I would have to get inside the 4’x4′ box to fix, align, adjust, etc.

Then, after 20 years of looking and saving, a new telescope and mount came my way.
The Skywatcher AZ-EQ6GT mount and the Vixen VC200L 200mm f9 scope were immediately installed and .. they were too big! There was even less room than before to get inside to adjust and fiddle.

So the decision was made to build a new observatory for the new equipment. We wanted to build a huge observatory for two.. say 8’x14′ or so, but then the price of lumber quadrupled! So that was outside of the budget. In addition we wanted to go with a pier and a “miniobservatory design”. We’ve had a microobservatory before, which was just a small box on a pier over the scope.
Here with the mini observatory we wanted to reuse the existing 4×4 structure in a roll off building and allow it to be used as a warm control room. Once everything is setup, then it can be used remotely.

This is the end result:

The next few articles will cover the detailed steps on how we built this and why we made the design choices we did.