4 years ago

British Antarctic Survey -

British Antarctic Survey -


British Antarctic Survey Halley Research Station Design Concept Competition Supporting Documents

Design Concept Competition Foreword by Malcolm Reading British Antarctic Survey (BAS) aspires to become the leading international centre for Global Science in the Antarctic Context.This competition will establish a world-class science facility to help deliver this objective. The requirement for entrants to this international competition is to create an efficient and functional design to provide scientists with a safe, effective and first-rate research environment. Living and working at one of the world’s most extreme environments demands an extraordinary approach to building. Snow falls over half the year; winter temperatures drop to an icy minus 50 Celsius; and everything - constructor, materials and equipment - must be towed inland from the ice edge. The British Antarctic Survey plans to build a new scientific research station - Halley VI - on the 150m thick Brunt Ice Shelf off the mainland in Antarctica.The building will house 16 staff, rising to 52 in the Antarctic summer. Within this straightforward brief lies a more complex challenge for competitors.The location and constraints of the site for Halley VI obliges entrants to consider quick-erect methods of construction, zero environmental impact, recycling and lifetime maintenance strategies. Brief time windows for erection and limited access to construction machinery might force a design based around the limitations of the ubiquitous tracked vehicle, the Sno-Cat, for instance. Practicalities aside, there is another issue for BAS which is to use the quest for a new building to raise awareness and engage public interest in the vital scientific work being carried out in Antarctica.What is the appropriate architectural expression for a relatively small building in a vast and remote wilderness? Can design quality make a distinct contribution to the efficiency of working life? Will colour, material and form contribute reassurance and good spirits in the long, cold winter months? This is a design competition requiring a fresh and exceptional approach.The jury will be seeking ideas that work, that can be built, that show ingenuity but it will also be searching for those designs that raise the spirit, that bring joy and reveal a commitment to the lives of the inhabitants. Malcolm Reading RIBA Architectural Advisor, Malcolm Reading & Associates

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