Having had a long career in science, I love it when science and design come together. An instance of this I was reminded of the other night while watching the BBC Horizon programme (I do like a good documentary). In case you didn’t see, it was all about the moving of the Halley VI Research Station, a global earth, atmospheric and space weather observation centre in Antarctica. Check out the British Antarctica Survey website if you’re interested in reading more. By the way that is where I have got these fabulous pictures from – no I’ve not been lucky enough to have taken these myself on my phone camera.
The Halley VI British Antarctica Survey Research Station
The Halley VI Research Station was put into operation in 2012 and I imagine the primary design aim was for the structure to be 100% practical for the job in hand, allowing robust scientific research to be carried out in extreme conditions AND giving the Station the ability to be relatively easily moved across the ice and out of danger (it’s on massive skis). Film maker Natalie Hewit documented for Horizon, the moving process that occurred earlier this year.
However, in addition to ticking the practical boxes you can see the design aesthetics were not ignored. They could have just produced square uninspiring blocks, but instead they choose to produce a science inspired design using vibrant colours. I love the modular approach, suggesting growth, and when viewed from above it reminds me of a schematic chain of sugars, but maybe that just my constant craving of carbohydrates.
I would imagine the occupants get a great uplift when viewing this structure whether the sun is beaming or a blizzard is ripping through the landscape. Unfortunately the Halley Station is not occupied at the moment due to the uncertainty of the ice shelf stability. Hope they get back in soon.
I think both the design and work undertaken at the Halley Station is awe-inspiring. Is this somewhere you would like to visit? ☃️☃️☃️