Hugh Broughton Architects

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Scott Base Redevelopment

First look at the concept design for the redevelopment of Scott Base for Antarctica New Zealand

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Location

Pram Point, Ross Island, Antarctica

Date

2017 – 2028

Client

Antarctica New Zealand

HBA Team

Roxane Baillet, Hugh Broughton, Helen King, Steve McCloy, Devon Moar, Gianluca Rendina, Robert Songhurst, Emily Tunnacliffe, Jessica Knight

Collaborators

Jasmax (Partner Architect)
WSP (Structural and Civil Engineers)
Steensen Varming (Services Engineer)
Rawlinsons (Quantity Surveyors)
The Building Intelligence Group (Design Leaders)
Billings Design Associates (Cladding Consultants)
Leighs Construction (Main Contractor)

Scott Base is located on Pram Point on Ross Island. Temperatures in the winter drop below -40°C with 24-hour darkness for around four months. The first iteration of the base was designed for Sir Edmund Hillary’s Trans Antarctic Expedition in 1957. A permanent presence has been maintained in the Ross Dependency ever since.

Many of the current structures have now reached the end of their effective life. As a result, in 2017, Antarctica New Zealand embarked on the process to redevelop Scott Base and provide a facility to support science for the next 50 years.

Aerial view of the existing base

Aerial view of the existing base

The design solution comprises three inter-connected aerodynamically shaped two-storey buildings, which step down the hillside of Pram Point. The three buildings are offset from each other to minimise risk of snowdrift between, and are connected with enclosed links. All the buildings are elevated above the ground to encourage wind to flow under, thereby minimising snow accumulation.

The upper building contains the living accommodation and is the primary point of entrance to Scott Base. The upper level contains a mix of single and twin bedrooms, ablutions blocks and living spaces to support a summer population of 100 and a winter crew of 15. The dining room includes a glazed end wall with spectacular views towards Mount Erebus and Mount Terror. The lower level contains the medical suite, laundry, recreational spaces, food storage, shop, locker room, a welcome lounge and plant spaces.

The middle building contains laboratories and offices on the upper level. The lower level is dedicated to open-plan deep-field science expedition preparation with level access via a bridge link to the field stores in the lower building.

The lower building contains the vehicle workshop, inter-continental cargo handling area, waste management and central storage. A small roof deck will support science which requires unimpeded views of the horizon and atmosphere.

The interior design will foster a strong sense of well-being whilst minimising maintenance. Warm, cheerful finishes are being selected for durability, comfort, economy and style. Significant thought is going into ways in which the design can reflect New Zealand’s cultural and natural landscape, capturing the essence of what it means to be a New Zealander, by conveying Māori values and reflecting New Zealand’s history of involvement in Antarctica.

Windows are carefully placed to make the most of natural light and reinforce connections with the Antarctic landscape. The layout has been developed to include lots of places for people to stop and chat as they walk from one place to another, fostering collaboration.

To minimise the environmental footprint of the base, the majority of the energy demand will be provided by the wind turbines of the Ross Island Wind Energy network. Heating will be provided by electric boilers. Only when there is no wind will the base be powered by fuel powered generators, with waste heat collected from these to help heat the base. Water will be produced using reverse osmosis which converts sea water to drinking water. A vacuum drainage system will be used to dispose of waste water. This uses 1.5 litres per flush compared to 9 litres in a standard toilet, helping to save water and energy. Plant is distributed around the base with duplication of key services such as water storage, power production and communications to maximise resilience.

Legacy

Scott Base Redevelopment

News 20 May 2021

Scott Base Redevelopment

The New Zealand Treasury have announced $344 million in funding for the Scott Base Redevelopment in Antarctica in the 2021 Budget, which means that the project is now in its delivery phase.

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A new era of Australian Antarctic endeavour

News 30 November 2020

A new era of Australian Antarctic endeavour

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has appointed Hugh Broughton Architects to join a team led by multi-disciplinary consultants WSP to masterplan the modernisation of the infrastructure at Davis research station in East Antarctica. Initial masterplanning is now complete, and masterplan concept development is ongoing.

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Building a Martian House

News 26 October 2020

Building a Martian House

A full-scale house designed for future life on Mars has received planning permission in Bristol. The house is the outcome of an ongoing public art project, ‘Building a Martian House’.

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Digital talk with Hugh Broughton

News 29 April 2020

Digital talk with Hugh Broughton

Want to learn how design can help sustain people living in isolation? The Architecture Centre is hosting a Zoom talk with Hugh Broughton on Thursday 30 April at 7 PM.

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Cool news

News 9 January 2020

Cool news

The 21st century has seen a surge in innovative architecture in the Polar regions – architecture that is not only beautiful but also meets the rising needs of the scientists living and working within the buildings. In the New York Times article “The Coolest Architecture on Earth Is in Antarctica” you can read about some of the leading architectural practices designing research stations for one of the harshest environments on the planet, including Hugh Broughton Architects.

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Design freeze

News 28 June 2019

Design freeze

First look at the concept design for the redevelopment of Scott Base for Antarctica New Zealand

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