Ant­arc­tic Rese­arch Facility

A pro­ject by Sergiu-Radu Pop

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Transformable Antarctic Research Facility

Descrip­tion

The goal of the Trans­forma­ble Ant­arc­tic Rese­arch Faci­lity Pro­ject is to inves­ti­gate the range of archi­tec­tu­ral qua­li­ties wit­hin rese­arch faci­li­ties and its gene­ra­tive poten­tial for new buil­ding typo­lo­gies in an extreme environ­ment. The spe­ci­fic rese­arch faci­li­ties in ques­tion are spe­cia­li­zed in various applied sci­en­ces such as advan­ced engi­nee­ring, bio-medicine and bio­me­di­cal engi­nee­ring, bio­logy, geo­logy, ocea­no­gra­phy, astro­nomy, gla­cio­logy and geo­phy­sics, cli­ma­to­logy, meteo­ro­logy and hydro­logy, and the­re­fore are highly depen­dent on a spe­ci­fic loca­tion. Extreme environ­ments, that are very cold or hot, dry or humid are often key environ­ments, where sci­en­tists can rese­arch ques­ti­ons regar­ding life, the world sur­roun­ding us as well as outer space.

The loca­tion of this pro­ject is the Ant­arc­tic. The qua­li­ties to be found wit­hin this spe­ci­fic environ­ment, such as extreme winds, tem­pe­ra­tures and pre­ci­pi­ta­tion, the regu­lar trans­for­ming state of the environ­ment from solid to liquid state and back, the uni­que play of light given by the local alter­na­tion of day and night or the con­stant need for adapta­tion of living orga­nism with sea­so­nal cli­mate change con­sti­tute para­me­ters for the fur­ther explo­ra­tion and inte­gra­tion into the design process.

Rather than fol­lo­wing con­ven­tio­nal design stra­te­gies, the aim is to inves­ti­gate into new and alter­na­tive pro­ces­ses like bio mimi­cry, bio­nics and bio­mor­phic design. By exami­ning nature’s models, sys­tems, algo­rithms and ele­ments, the goal is not to mimic but to rather learn from the intri­cate, all-encompassing inter­play of its ele­ments and mul­ti­ple lay­ers of complexity.

The pro­ject attempts to merge the aes­the­tic qua­li­ties and com­plex func­tio­na­lity of the exis­ting environ­ment and its bio­di­ver­sity in order to design a sta­tion that con­side­r­a­bly dif­fers from exis­ting faci­li­ties all around the pole.

To fur­ther explore the process’s inno­va­tive poten­tial the pro­ject pro­po­ses the com­bi­na­tion of two dis­tinc­tive pro­grams, the seclu­ded enclo­sed and intro­ver­ted spaces of a rese­arch sta­tion on the one hand and – refer­ring to the cur­rent trend towards extreme environ­men­tal tou­ristic explo­ra­tion – the open and com­mu­ni­ca­tive spaces of a tou­ristic resort, thus crea­ting the oppor­tu­nity to nego­tiate and blend totally dif­fe­rent pro­gram­ma­tic requi­re­ments and their respec­tive rela­tion to the outs­ide conditions.

The aim the­re­fore is to create a mixed pro­gram that inclu­des – alongs­ide the rese­arch faci­li­ties – per­ma­nent and tem­porary accom­mo­da­tion, public exhi­bi­ti­ons, lei­sure and trai­ning spaces, con­fe­rence halls and obser­va­tion decks, docking sta­ti­ons, helip­ads and runways.

Rese­arch sta­ti­ons are usually engi­nee­red to ful­fill tech­ni­cal needs and pro­vide mini­mal life con­di­ti­ons. The absence of archi­tec­tu­ral con­side­ra­tion in the design pro­cess results in a lack of living qua­lity limit­ing the pro­gram to basic func­tions only.

Tou­ristic expe­ri­ence is also limited, mis­sing the oppor­tu­nity to diver­sify and explore the full spec­trum of activity and the qua­li­ties of the fasci­na­ting extreme landscape.

The pro­ject rigo­rously addres­ses the con­text of the site of Ant­arc­tica by nes­ting the volume in a linear and ver­ti­cal sys­tem depen­ding on its loca­tion wit­hin the topo­gra­phy and its ori­en­ta­tion and at the same time by the para­me­ters of con­stant muta­bi­lity and trans­for­ma­tion in reac­tion to the every chan­ging site.

Credits:
Pro­ject Aut­hor: Sergiu-Radu Pop
IoA Insti­tut of Archi­tec­ture at the Uni­ver­sity of Applied Arts Vienna
Tutor(s): Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schu­ma­cher, Mario Gas­ser, Chris­tian Kro­n­aus, Jens Mehlan, Robert Neu­mayr, Han­nes Traupmann, Mascha Veech;
© Stu­dio Hadid Vienna and Sergiu-Radu Pop

Sergiu-Radu Pop

Sergiu-Radu Pop
Gra­dua­ted Stu­dent in ZAHA HADID Mas­ter­class, Uni­ver­si­tät für ange­wandte Kunst Wien / Uni­ver­sity of app­lyed arts Vienna

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