hugh broughton architects: halley VI mobile antarctic research station
hugh broughton architects: halley VI mobile antarctic research station hugh broughton architects: halley VI mobile antarctic research station
feb 07, 2013

hugh broughton architects: halley VI mobile antarctic research station

‘halley VI antarctic research station’ by hugh broughton architects, antarcticaimage © anthony dubberall images courtesy of the british antarctic survey (BAS)




marking exactly 100 years after captain robert falcon scott’s first antarctic expeditions, the british prove their dedication to research and science by completing the ‘halley VI research station’ to replace the 20 year-old halley V. british practice hugh broughton architects sent us images of the mobile polar hub which was built under extreme conditions in only 36 weeks spread out over four years during the antarctic summers.

image © sam burell




the site made it a particularly challenging project; not only does the structure need to withstand drastic temperatures and accommodate scientific laboratories as well as living quarters, it has the ability to be lifted off the ground by hydraulic rams to stay above several meters of new snow. the faceted aerodynamic design prevents the accumulation of snow on the exterior shell. most remarkable is that the site itself is not stationary, located on the floating brunt ice shelf one of the primary features of the center is that it is completely mobile to avoid getting stranded on a frozen island. mounted on large skis, the modules can be be towed by bulldozers for kilometers, with pivoting connections allowing the train of units to be pulled together.

individual modules in front of aurora winter skies, 2010image © craig brown




the construct is composed of blue units that contain the bedrooms, labs, offices and energy plants, all linked to the red heart, ‘module A,’ which provides the social program in a double height space. the station is capable of hosting up to 52 crew members in the summer down to 16 during the dark winter months when temperatures can reach -56 degrees below zero. the project is funded by the natural environment research council and the department of business innovation and skills including the british antarctic survey (BAS) branch.

west facade looking north, covered in winter frostimage © james goby/BAS

west facade looking north, covered in winter frostimage © james goby/BAS

ladder entryimage © hugh broughton architects

module A after the winter

sitting on hydraulic stiltsimage © antony dubber

bird’s eye viewimage © karl tuplin

upper observation deckimage © mike rose

lounge/bar in the red moduleimage © sam burell

spiral stair case in the red moduleimage © hugh broughton

typical bedroom






relocation scheme






project info:


architecture: hugh broughton architectsconstruction: galliford tryengineering: AECOM competition: 2005completion: 2013

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