13.08.2014 Bettina Sigmund

DETAIL Prize 2014: Halley VI Antarctic Research Station

Nominated for the DETAIL Prize 2014: Hugh Broughton Architects, London, Great Britain
Halley VI Antarctic Research Station, Antarctic
The Halley Research Station is located on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The ice moves 400 metres per annum towards the sea, and snow depths increase over the same period by 1 metre. In winter the sun does not rise for 105 days, temperatures drop to -56°C and winds blow in excess of 100 km/h. Only during three months each year can the site be reached by boat or plane. All these aspects had to be taken into account when constructing the research station. Hugh Broughton Architects opted for a modular approach with highly insulated units made of fibreglass reinforced plastic. These house laboratories, bedrooms and recreational areas as well as an energy centre. A light-filled, open and two-storey module forms the centre of the new station. The high-quality interiors of the modules helps the 16-member team survive the long, dark winters, while the energy concept aims to substantially reduce fuel consumption. Heat is provided by a combined heat and power plant, and water consumption is reduced to 20 litres per person. Wastewater is treated in a bioreactor, burned in the mud and clean residual water is transported back to the ice. Compared to its predecessor, Halley V, fuel demand has been reduced by another 10%. As the ice slowly moves towards the sea, the modules can be drawn inland on giant steel skis and hydraulically-driven legs. Halley VI was opened in 2013 and will be fully dismantled after its useful life.
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