One architecture student’s visit to the LOCUS ANTARCTICA.
06.05.2014 – 08.21.2014
A Brief History:
Locus Antarctica is the product of a species in need.
A new research center was called for on Earth, but this research center had to transcend political borders and cross-pollinate every genre of scientific study known to human beings. It would be a massive undertaking to build the world’s strangest and most unexpected city: a civilization intent on a righteous survival. The foundation’s discoveries and inventions would be the safeguard of the future. Complying with the Antarctic Treaty of June 23 1961, a portion of Antarctica was chosen as the location for this station. The continent would be ideal to stay hidden from predatory attacks by jealous governments, to maintain a sterile vacuum for scientific study, and to remain neutral in all matters unrelated to the tasks of the scientific foundation. These tasks were to prolong mankind’s existence on Earth and prepare for an eventual departure by some group of humans into the solar system and beyond into the galaxy for non-invasive colonization.
It has become the only productive center of research and manufacturing on topics as specialized as climate change, desalination, and energy sources, and as broad as medicine, physics, mathematics, engineering, and design. With testing facilities entirely dedicated for space travel and planetary settlements the foundation has made major leaps in mere decades. They are able now to sustain themselves by trading knowledge for the tools and goods of sustenance.
Some Architectural Notes:
Entry Sequence – The gates of the city are large defensive hydraulic shield doors of composite materials ideal for spanning the entire width of the city at the snow’s surface and withstanding surface temperatures. Any stretch of 100 feet can lift in accordion motion to allow admittance into the city’s heavily guarded forum. This way the inhabitants can pass the city-state limits despite snowdrifts. Looming high above the entrance shield are swiveling solar panels operated to maximize solar gain. These solar panel cranes are the only visible indication from the Earth’s surface of the civilization.
City System – The scientific community comprises of an ever changing and ever growing underground (climate controlled) network of programmatic tubes and spheres perfect for collaboration and habitation. There also individual pods for smaller groups interested in individual research. It is a subterranean crystallization of the scientific process that allows for near infinite growth down and out among the bedrock of Antarctica. In plan and section the city splinters, fissures, fragments, rifts, networks, welds, links splices, and couples in a constant dynamic state of breaking and rejoining. New branches of study literally elicit new branches of architecture. As connections are forged between previously unrelated fields of study new pathways are constructed in the physical world to mimic that reaction.