ICEBERG LIVING STATION, Animation made for Icelab Exhibition

Categories: ARCTIC

Buildings and base stations have grown exponentially in the last 20 years in the Antarctic. For 2010, about 80000 tourists are expected to visit the South Pole, and an average of 5000 researchers are based in the main land during the summer period. This proposal aims to design a living station for 100 visitors with minimum environmental impact. To achieve this, we aim to avoid “building” by traditional means, which would implicate transporting materials foreign to the continent, which never leave Antarctica again. Instead, the “architecture” is holed out in a super large iceberg (about 2.5 square kilometre area), which would eventually melt in 7 to 10 years time. Icebergs are compacted snow, which only become ice at a depth of 25 metres, and as igloos have demonstrated trough out the centuries, snow is a very efficient insulation. Caterpillar excavators, traditionally used in the Antarctic to move and clear snow, would cut out the spaces inside the iceberg. The geometric logic of the movement of these machines, now used to “design and cut” the spaces, create the curves of the interiors. Two access ramps (one for pedestrians, the other for vehicles) give access to the main hall and canteen, with access to kitchen, medical services, and toilets. From this public area the living station grows into an array of passages, which give access to the sleeping quarters, clustered in groups of eight or nine rooms around a common lounge. A lecture/conference hall allows for cultural activities. Containers would transport food and reusable solar cells and energy equipment, and would be used to store waste and grey water residue, which can be shipped of regularly.