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We teamed up with Hopkins Architects to participate in this RIBA competition to design the Halley 6 Antarctic research facility.

After reaching a shortlist of 6 from 86 international entries we were asked to develop concept designs for the project. With help from Atelier Ten, RWDI, HL Technik, Kenneth Grubb Associates and DL&E we developed our prefabricated, modular proposal initially in pneumatic lego form, which has the additional and rather useful ability to walk! Although walking is not perhaps the most common of client requirements, it is extremely useful when, as at Halley, the ground moves towards the sea at around 1000m a year. It is not for nothing that this is Halley VI – the first four are at the bottom of the Weddell Sea with the fifth looking to join them shortly.

We were commissioned along with two of the other teams to produce designs for detailed assessment and selection in summer 2005. Unfortunately, we made it down to the final two but were beaten in the final selection. But who knows? Walking buildings could soon be just the ticket, what with noisy neighbours, rising sea levels, global instability and the like. As the quintessential Antarctic a building of the future it even attracted the attention of the BBC and Laurence Llewellyn Bowen.


Chris Wise
Ed McCann

Client: British Antarctic Survey

Architect: Hopkins Architects

Environmental Engineer: Atelier Ten

Status: Competition

Halley VI Ice Station