In February 2012, a fire raged on the edge of the Antarctic. It resulted in loss of life and the destruction of Brazil’s Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station, dedicated to scientific research in the frozen continent. Brazil’s government swiftly built emergency accommodation to shelter staff and ensure research could go on, while an international architectural competition to design a replacement station was held in 2013. It was won by Curitiba-based Estúdio 41, a dynamic firm operating in fields including residential and commercial, and led by Emerson Vidigal, Dario Durce, Eron Costin, Fabio Faria, João Gabriel Rosa and Martin Goic.
‘We had never done anything like this before,’ says project architect Vidigal. ‘So we did extensive research on polar stations built in the past ten years.’ That said, they tried, as always, to work without preconceptions. One pre-requisite, though, was a design based around industrialised components that could be shipped to the site.
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