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Antarctic Research Station on Skis

It’s gotten pretty cold here in the Midwest the past few days, but not nearly as cold as it is in the Antarctic, where this peculiar looking research station (the Halley VI) opened up earlier this month.

As many as 52 scientists will be housed in the modular complex, a $40.6 million facility designed by Hugh Broughton Architects for the British Antarctic Survey.

The Halley VI research station. Image: Hugh Broughton Architects

A key design feature: the buildings are all on skis. Since stationary buildings run the risk of being buried under the several feet of ice that can build up on the Brunt Ice Shelf, the buildings have been outfitted with hydraulic legs to lift the facility out of any snow or ice. The skis on the legs allow the building to be towed easily in case the ice it rests on happens to break away. The blue pods serve as research rooms and living rooms, and the big red pod in the middle is a common area and cafeteria.

The new facility was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Department of Business Innovation and Skills. It replaces the 20-year-old Halley V. Construction teams worked around the clock over four 9-week Antarctic summers to build the Halley VI. You can read about the design and construction here. Video below:

Source: British Antarctic Survey

About Brian Albright

Brian Albright is a contributing editor to Digital Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.