The Polish ‘Henry Arctowski’ Antarctic Station

Kuryłowicz & Associates


The project of the new main building of 'Henry Arctowski' antartic station is to be located on Admiralty Bay, on the southern part of the island of King George in the South Shetland Archipelago, about 120 km from the Antarctic coast. The design of the station is shaped by a detailed functional program, the extreme environmental conditions of the site and by a modular construction strategy which has been imposed by site access restrictions. The result is a highly efficient tripartite ensemble which provides scientists with rational research space as well as a ‘home away from home’ atmosphere while the sinuous shape of the building’s exterior envelope seeks to capture the mystery of arctic life and articulate the thrill of exploration for its visitors. Making a minimal impact on the environment, the station is elevated 3m over the landscape resembling an elegant floating vessel when viewed from a sea. This is done using a steel lattice sub structure which allows for the free flow of water, wind and snow underneath the station. The entrance has been situated in a central location, where it is protected from wind and high levels of snowfall. The building itself is orientated to reduce the impact of wind blowing from three main directions. In addition the building’s sectional profile acts as an upside-down ‘aircraft wing’, which uses incoming wind to keep the station pushed firmly to the ground. The project has undergone wind and snow analysis using 3d printed models.

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