In one of the most aggressive places existing on the planet, the Halley vi Antartic Station accommodates a British research group comprising 53 people in summer and only 16 in winter. The site is an icecap 150 meters thick, in an environment where the sun stays in hiding for a hundred days during the summer, snow piles more than a meter, winds blow more than 150 kilometers per hour, and temperatures drop to -56ºC.
The complex is formed by prefabricated modules that were assembled in South Africa and transferred from there and installed in just twelve weeks. To deal with the problem of snow accumulation, the modules – which are connected to one another in a chain that makes one think of a railway convoy – are equipped with pneumatic ‘legs’ that serve to lift them from the ground and can be used as skis for moving the station to another location. The need for site transfer arises in a context where the icecap on which the center sits shifts 400 meters each year.
Designed to avoid heat losses (U is 0.113 Wm2K), the facade of the research station consists of panels of reinforced plastic (FRP), but has translucent openings of nanoaerogel and special glass materials that allow the entrance of natural light into the work spaces, and the contemplation of aurorae borealis.
Estación de investigación en la Antártida Halley VI Halley VI Antarctic Research Station.
AECOM (estructura e instalaciones structures and MEP consultant); Billings Design Associates (revestimiento metálico cladding consultant); Colour Effects (color color consultant); British Antarctic Survey (gestión y coordinación de seguridad y salud project management and CDM coordinator); Galliford Try International (contratista principal main contractor); Antarctic Marine and Climate Centre (estructura metálica cladding and steel frame).
Antony Dubber, James Morris.