The curves of ESO’s Headquarters

Bereft of colour in this striking infrared image, the sweeping curves of ESO's Headquarters clash with the frosty natural beauty of the surrounding trees. The extreme curvature visible in this image is due to the photographer's use of a fisheye lens, which distorts the view and causes the building to encircle the pale foliage and frame the sky above. The foliage appears to be bright as it reflects the infrared light, and the pale white hue comes from the photographer applying a white colour balance to the tree leaves.

The precise curves of concrete, glass, and steel give clues as to the Headquarters building's peculiar structure. In 1981 an article in ESO's The Messenger described the ESO building as "a labyrinth of the kind used to test the intelligence of rats". But, fortunately for ESO, the writer soon noted that "human beings are on average cleverer than rats, and the problem is quickly solved".

This image was taken by ESO computer specialist Dirk Essl.


D. Essl (

À propos de l'image

Date de publication:24 février 2014 10:00
Taille:4032 x 3024 px

À propos de l'objet

Nom:ESO Headquarters
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Facility

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