The first “space frame” for the Halley VI Antarctic survey base has been unloaded at the British Antarctic Survey site, on the Antarctic Brunt Ice Shelf.
Components have journeyed via South Africa to Antarctica. The cargo finally arrived on Boxing Day.
Faber Maunsell structural engineer Danny Wood is at the base, supervising the construction of the distinctive modules, which were assembled and dismantled at dry docks in Cape Town. They will now be re-assembled on-site.
Modules are on stilts to keep buildings clear of the 1.5m annual snowfall. The Halley VI is also on skis, which will allow the station to be moved periodically.
Faber Maunsell and Hugh Broughton Architects won the design competition to construct the station in 2005. Halley VI will be used to primarily study the atmosphere and investigate the surrounding geology and glaciers.
Modules are designed to withstand temperatures dropping to -560C. Previous stations had to be abandoned due to the weight of ice crushing the structures. Construction of Halley VI will take 10 weeks.