Feast for the eyes & soul worth sharing: Antartic bases, from wooden huts to “embassies on ice”

BRAZIL’S “Embassy on Ice” glistens against a backdrop of icy mountains with a sea front reflecting the architectural beauty and a beautiful sky while the country’s flag flutters far away from its tropical home in a humongous neighborhood dominated by the big boys of the world.

Brazil, India and Korea may not be First World but they do NOT belong in the league of bled-dry through leaders’ pillaging African countries of the world, either. They are already taking advantage of the Antarctic Treaty, which, right now, has suspended all territorial claims to the icy continent.

As the big boys started a gold-rush style construction boom, but as presence calls for research, each is [sort of] saying we may not be able to build whole neighborhoods like the USA … but we too, can by owning impressive structures for research that fly our countries’ flags. 

How ’bout Brazil’s futuristic airport lounge-styled hall shown here!


How Antarctic bases went from wooden huts to sci-fi chic – bbc.com

How do you build in the most isolated place on Earth? For decades Antarctica – the only continent with no indigenous population – hosted only the simplest huts as human shelters. But, as Matthew Teller finds out, architecture in the coldest, driest, windiest reaches of our planet is getting snazzier.




It’s an eye-popping, futuristic design – a dark, sleek building, low and long, that is destined to be a temporary waterfront home for up to 65 people at a time.

The price tag is a hefty $100m (£80m). And while a Chinese company is building it, it’s not in China, and almost no-one will ever see it.



Welcome to Brazil’s Comandante Ferraz Antarctic research station.

After the original burned down in 2012, the Brazilian navy launched an architectural competition for a replacement design – won by a local firm – and then awarded the building tender to a Chinese defence and engineering contractor, CEIEC. It’s due to be completed in 2018.



The upper block will contain cabins, dining and living space; the lower block will house laboratories and operational areas  [ESTÚDIO 41/AFACONSULT]


Located on a small island just off the coast of Antarctica, it lies almost 1,000km (600 miles) south of the tip of South America. No scheduled air routes come close and it’s way off any shipping lanes.

And even if you could reach it yourself, like all Antarctic research stations Comandante Ferraz will be closed to the public. Virtually nobody other than the crews posted there will ever see it in the flesh. So why, you may ask, spend so much on architectural style? Wouldn’t a dull but functional building do just as well?

Brazil is not alone in paying for eye-catching design, though.


In 2013, India unveiled its Bharati station, with a similar modernist design.



Designed by bof arkitekten, Bharati overlooks the sea and is used to study polar marine life


Check out the rest of the bbc.com essay:


SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017. 3:35 p.m. [GMT]



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