The British Antarctic Survey’s latest state-of-the-art research station was officially opened in 2014, the sixth version of the British Halley research station. In order to make sure all the needs of the staff who live and work there were met, complex design plans had to be drawn up and all the necessary considerations taken into account.
Now it’s your turn to be a team of designers, and your job is to design your own research station to match Halley’s scientific and living capabilities!
Situated on the Brunt Ice Shelf, Halley is the remotest of the British research stations. Halley was first built in 1956 and has since been rebuilt five times. During the summer months about 65 people live and work at Halley VI, but for nine months of the year, the research station is completely cut off from the outside world. Fifteen or so people brave it out during the winter when temperatures can fall to -50 degrees C and there is almost 24 hour darkness for three months.
Halley’s position on the Brunt Ice Shelf is problematic. The ice shelf is moving towards the ocean at several hundred metres a year, eventually breaking off into icebergs when it reaches the Weddell Sea. As Halley constantly moves closer and closer to the edge of the ice, a plan has been put in place to move it back to a safe location – can you guess what it is?
Design plans for Halley VI were both groundbreaking and futuristic. Thanks to special mechanical legs that act like skis, Halley VI can be carefully towed to different positions on the ice shelf, dramatically increasing its potential lifespan.
The central area of the research station is for recreation and relaxation. A platform links together detachable ‘modules’, some of the which provide accommodation all year round, with each big enough for eight bedrooms. Other modules are used for science laboratories, power generation and extra accommodation during the busy summer months.
You are working as a group of designers planning a brand new sister station for Halley VI.
Which group in the class would win the contract?
Find out more information about building Halley VI from the people that designed it, Hugh Broughton Architects