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Design competition for new Antarctic Research Station

A major international competition to design a new scientific research station at one of the Earth's most extreme environments Antarctica - is launched this week by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Located 10,000 miles from the UK on a 150 m thick floating ice shelf, the new complex will be self-sufficient, able to withstand freezing winter temperatures of around -30C and have minimal environmental impact on Antarctica's pristine environment.

There is a growing risk that ice on which the UK's Halley Research Station sits could break off in the next decade. The new station will allow long-running research on global change to continue at the site where the ozone hole was discovered.

The enormous logistical challenges of building on a floating ice shelf that is accessible only during the Antarctic summer by ship, requires innovation and creativity in design, engineering and technology. BAS hopes this international design competition, will attract the best ideas from architects and engineers worldwide.

Director of BAS, Professor Chris Rapley says, 'This is an ambitious project. Our new station will not only have to cope with Antarctica's extreme environment, but must also be functionally efficient and an aesthetically stimulating place to live and work. Both BAS and RIBA share a common mission to pursue excellence. This project will be a fusion of science, architecture, technology and engineering that lends itself perfectly to an international design competition.'

The competition begins with a call for Expressions of Interest from multi-disciplinary design teams. A shortlist will be invited to submit Concept Proposals and selected teams will then be commissioned to further develop their proposals. The winning design will be announced in September 2005. Deadline for Expressions of Interest is 3 August 2004. Details from www.ribacomp
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Contact: Linda Capper
L.Capper@bas.ac.uk
44-122-322-1448
British Antarctic Survey
29-Jun-2004


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