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Ice Station

location:      Antarctic (mobile)

students:     Simone Hiesinger, Sandra Spindler

teaching team:  Prof. Richard Horden

Transportation and delivery of the ice station to varying locations in this extreme environment is the first challenge for the designers of Antarctic habitats. This project uses a helicopter delivery of between 0.7 to 1.3 tons for the five elements of the construction–three- point adjustable base frame, a two-level central social space, and the three double-deck sleeping and working compartments, which provide space for up to six explorers or scientists.

The structure requires a tough multi-layer thermal outer jacket to prevent ice forming in the tight gaps between the separate units. This was one of our first projects to use the penguin chick as a starting point, an ideal form for thermal efficiency. The wide base provides stability in high wind, while the narrow top minimizes heat loss from the top.

The station entrance on the ground is in a down-wind position, and the downward curved shape of the underside encourages wind scouring of the snow at the base which maintains a hollow around the perimeter which aids access.