Ice Station

Ice Station

The Creation of Halley VI. Britain's Pioneering Antarctic Research Station

Planning and building for the extreme: the story of a unique project for Antarctica.



Title Information

Text by Ruth Slavid. With photographs by James Morris

1st edition

, 2015


96 pages, 100 color and 2 b/w illustrations

20 x 25 cm

ISBN 978-3-906027-66-1


For more than fifty years, Halley Research Station—located on the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea—has collected a continuous stream of meteorological and atmospheric data critical to our understanding of polar atmospheric chemistry, rising sea levels, and the depletion of the ozone layer. Since the station’s establishment in 1956, there have been six Halley stations, each designed to withstand the difficult climatic conditions. The first four stations were crushed by snow. The fifth featured a steel platform, allowing it to rise above snow cover, but it, too, had to be abandoned when it moved too far from the mainland, making it precarious.

Commissioned by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and completed in 2012, Halley VI is the winning design from a competition in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects. Designed by London-based Hugh Broughton Architects and AECOM, a US-based architecture and engineering firm, the structure cannot just rise to avoid being engulfed by accumulating snow, but it is also the first research station able to be fully relocatable, its eight modules situated atop ski-fitted hydraulic legs. This book tells the story of this iconic piece of architecture’s design and creation, supplemented with many illustrations, including plans and previously unpublished photographs.

Authors & Editors

Ruth Slavid

 is a freelance architectural writer, editor and consultant. She is the author of six books, including Extreme Architecture: Building for Challenging Environments (2009). Following 15 years with The Architects’ Journal, Ruth now writes for magazines and organisations about architecture, construction and lighting, and currently edits Landscape. She graduated from the University of Cambridge.


«Against the blank backdrop of the Antarctic terrain, Halley VI is a never before seen species – a design that exists outside of what one would define as a building, a machine, a robot.» 032c