This is the Halley VI Antarctic research station, and today it officially opens as home to up to 52 (very cold) scientists working as part of the British Antarctic Survey.
The Seuss-like $40.6 million facility, designed by Hugh Broughton Architects, is built to withstand the elements on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf. Stationary buildings can get buried under the 3 feet of ice that piles up annually here. So the Halley VI architects cleverly added hydraulic legs to the bottom of the building. The legs can be maneuvered so that the structure climbs out of the built-up snow.
As Gizmag points out, giant skis attached to the bottom of the legs solve another problem: Stationary buildings on the ice shelf risk being caught on a broken-off piece of ice. But by towing these buildings away from danger, the scientists can continue their work on dry, icy land.
The building is largely made up of blue pods that'll act as research rooms or living rooms (complete with a bedside lamp that can simulate sunrise during around-the-clock-dark winters). A red pod in the middle of the blue pods works as a communal living space, acting as the go-to spot for eating and recreation.
The Halley VI Antarctic research station is, as the name implies, the sixth in a line of Halley facilities that date all the way back to the late 1950s. Data from Halley led to the discovery of the hole in the o-zone layer, so we're expecting big things when this version's fully operational in the coming weeks.
God damn. I want to live there. That red hut looks so cool. I bet there's bunk beds, pinball machines, a sodastream, a cinema, daily sleigh rides. Not doin' no scientific research though. Pity the fool that tries to make me do scientific research.
Snow trains! What do they use to move them Caterpillar tractors?
I wish I knew how to apply for a job in Antarctic.
Three foot of ice annual accumulation. So no thinning of ice sheet here then. Global Warming anyone?
@ejfineran That was, of course, the paragraph immediately preceding one referencing huge chunks of the ice sheet breaking off into the ocean.
It's tough to tell without any sense of scale in those pictures, but it looks like it would be a pretty tight squeeze for 52 people...
@ejfineran - I enjoyed your logical fallicy, but what you assume is that every year there is a net increase of 3 feet. However, you lack to mention the seasonal decrease due to melting. So if in the winter it increasea 3 feet but in the summer it decreases 4 feet, you have a NET difference of -1 feet. Understand the logic there?
See this link for the building of the facility.