balbek bureau converts disused fuel tank into nostalgic installation in the south pole

balbek bureau converts disused fuel tank into nostalgic installation in the south pole

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‘home.memories’ installation by balbek bureau 

 

Kyiv-based balbek bureau recently completed an art installation, dubbed ‘Home.Memories’, for the Vernadsky Research Base in Antarctica. Located on the island of Galindez, the project kickstarted in November 2021 when the studio was tasked to repurpose a defunct fuel tank at the Ukrainian Vernadsky (former British Faraday) research base. The installation, intended as a visual treat for the station staff and tourists, had to be easily assembled, resistant to severe weather conditions, and safe for more than 3,500 penguins living on the island.

balbek bureau converts disused fuel tank into nostalgic installation in the south pole
all images © Slava Balbek

 

 

evoking ukrainian homes and pre-war nostalgia  

 

More importantly, the final structure takes inspiration from the image of a traditional Ukrainian house; envisioning it as a ‘home away from home’ for polar researchers, the architects designed the installation based on a composite image of a Ukrainian rural house. ‘A thin detailed frame around the tank resembles a pencil sketch: as if someone, reminiscing, draws their childhood home from memory,’ notes the balbek bureau team.

 

To accompany the ‘Home.Memories’ installation, balbek bureau created a mini exposition with souvenirs from Ukraine, including a sample of the UNESCO-listed Kosiv painted ceramics and a lump of coal from the Donetsk region embedded in resin. The exhibition was later expanded with the help of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

balbek bureau converts disused fuel tank into nostalgic installation in the south pole
‘Home.Memories’ by balbek bureau is sited in Antarctica’s Vernadsky Research Base

 

 

The project was commissioned by the National Antarctic Research Center and implemented with the support of the Silpo retail chain. Meanwhile, construction was handled by the Wonder Workshop bureau. The disassembled structure was delivered to the Vernadsky base in the spring of 2022, but the mounting was postponed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In February 2023, balbek bureau’s CEO, architect Slava Balbek and the Wonder Workshop head Dmytro Zinoviev headed to Antarctica and completed the project. 

balbek bureau converts disused fuel tank into nostalgic installation in the south pole
the art installation is a converted fuel tank

 

 

The art installation, designed a year before the invasion, took on a new meaning. For millions of people forced to flee their hometowns and villages due to Russian aggression, returning home became their biggest dream,’ shares balbek bureau’s CEO Slava Balbek, ‘Still, we believe that the war will end in our victory, and Ukrainians will create new memories from the safe haven of their home. And all the way in Antarctica, for researchers and tourists alike, our house will continue to stand strong, a true memento of Ukraine.

balbek bureau converts disused fuel tank into nostalgic installation in the south pole
using a thin metal frame to evoke the childhood nostalgia of pencil sketching

home-memories-installation-designboom-full-1

balbek bureau converts disused fuel tank into nostalgic installation in the south pole

balbek bureau converts disused fuel tank into nostalgic installation in the south pole
creating a mini exposition with souvenirs from Ukraine

home-memories-installation-designboom-full

balbek bureau converts disused fuel tank into nostalgic installation in the south pole
the project was completed in february 2023 by balbek bureau and Wonder Workshop bureau

balbek bureau converts disused fuel tank into nostalgic installation in the south pole
creating an image of the traditional Ukrainian house

balbek bureau converts disused fuel tank into nostalgic installation in the south pole
‘Home.Memories’ by balbek bureau at night time

home-memories-installation-designboom-full-3

 

 

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project info:

 

name: Home.Memories

location: Vernadsky research base, Galindez Island, Antarctica

architecture: Balbek Bureau | @balbekbureau 

lead architects: Slava Balbek, Anastasiia Partyka, Alyona Tryhub

3D artists: Nik Key, Valerii Stefanov

graphic designers: Dasha Levchuk, Oleksandra Zavada


project manager: Arina Petrenko

production: Dmytro Zinoviev & the Wonder Workshop bureau


sculptor: Marusia Sinkevich


copywriter: Taisiia Kudenko

comms support: Yevheniia Ryzhak


photography: Slava Balbek


photo retouching: Maryan Beresh

 

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