British Antarctic Survey
© British Antarctic Survey

British Antarctic Survey

We were first appointed, by the RIBA to advise on the procurement of professional and contractor teams; develop the brief and evaluate responses. We managed the flow of information to three teams of finalists, assessing the design quality and innovation of their proposals to Scheme Design (RIBA Stage D). We were then engaged directly by the client as their ongoing adviser, following selection of the winner.

The UK’s national Antarctic operator, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) wanted Halley VI to raise the profile of Antarctic science and at the same time provide a standard of living conditions that would attract new scientists to the project. Our initial contribution was to help BAS bring a more architectural dimension than was seen in the previous, engineer-designed stations. We also worked on the idea that Halley VI needed to be an icon like the space station to capture people’s imagination.

To develop the ‘soft brief’ beyond the technical requirements we questioned the scientists currently in the Antarctic about their lives. We discovered that, among other things, they wanted to relax by watching the stars in comfort during the winter’s six months of continuous darkness, so a viewing dome was included as a requirement of the brief.

Value £50 million   //   Won by Hugh Broughton Architects with AECOM

Project details

The practices shortlisted were:

Hugh Broughton Architects with AECOM
Hopkins Architects
with Expedition & Atelier Ten
Lifshutz Davidson
with Buro Happold