research station in antarctica built from 134 shipping containers
research station in antarctica built from 134 shipping containers research station in antarctica built from 134 shipping containers
jul 31, 2013

research station in antarctica built from 134 shipping containers

research station in antarctica built from 134 shipping containers by bof arkitekten
image courtesy bof architekten



situated on a pen­in­su­la in nort­heastern antarc­tica, the ‘bharati antarctic research station’ by hamburg-based bof arkitekten presents a self-sufficient energy facility comprised of 134 shipping containers wrapped with an insulating aerodynamic metal skin. the 2,500 sq m (27,000 sq ft) development, which was awarded by the na­tio­nal cen­ter for antarc­tic and oce­an re­se­arch in 2006, is conceived as an architectural volume that can easily be completely dis-assembled due to the re­stric­ted ac­ces­si­bi­li­ty within the re­gi­on.


energy is provided for the sta­ti­on using a combination of heat and power units; the re­si­du­al heat from electri­ci­ty production is enough to warm the en­ti­re sta­ti­on year-round. a to­tal of 24 sin­gle and doub­le rooms are lo­ca­ted on the se­cond flo­or which include a kit­chen/di­ning room, libra­ry, fit­ness room, as well as the of­fi­ces and a lounge. the lo­wer elevation hou­ses the la­bo­ra­to­ry and the sto­ra­ge and technical spa­ces, and the third level provides a ter­ra­ce which can be used for sci­en­ti­fic ex­pe­ri­ments.



india’s national center for antarctic and ocean research in nort­heastern antarc­tica
image © NCAOR



the development is comprised of 134 shipping containers wrapped with an insulating aerodynamic metal skin
image courtesy bof architekten



the architectural volume can easily be completely dis-assembled and transported elsewhere
image © NCAOR



a to­tal of 24 sin­gle and doub­le rooms are located on the second floor
image © NCAOR



image © NCAOR



construction originally commenced in 2009
image © NCAOR



shipping containers being transported to the construction site
image courtesy bof architekten



penguins on site during the development
image courtesy bof architekten



assembly begins on the antarctic research station
image courtesy bof architekten



  • This is fantastic…. Finally something nice on that desolate continent

    Desk says:
  • What about the snow on the roof? It appears to be very flat, an enormous weight after a typical Antarctic winter….?????

    Pinquo says:
  • Good question, Pinquo! Antarctica is actually a desert. That means while it gets very cold in the winter, there’s almost no snow.

    Richard says:
  • looks so cool

    pcarrilho says:
  • What about the water supply and sewer facilities? In such an ecological area, i would think it would have to be fully self sufficient like the heating and energy production?

    shortstoppirate says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,379 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample