22 January 2011


The architect Borja Abellán presents the Antartic Observatory, this project was his Dissertation of Architecture at the University of Alicante.

The project consists in a observatory to control the icebergs in Antarctica,the main ideas are the aerodynamics form, to resist the push hard the wind, for his great speeds. The form of the observatory can allow snow provide thermal insulation and water supply, leaving half-buried. And finally, the facade is translucent, because the continent during half a year is day and which would save energy.

The structure responds to these requests, because it is a rigid structure , and the envolpe distributing loads, like a shell, so that the differentials seats are minimal. The main structure is of laminated-wood, and the shell is of stainless steel. See more;

The envelope is made with Corian, translucent, and the interior envelope is with Corian too. The insulation is with Aerogel, which properties and conductivity coefficient are very low.
The waterproof layer is with fiberglass with polyester resin, so you get the translucent facade or envelope.
All modeling is done with grasshopper which facilitates a parametric production to adapt to different solutions and the drawing structural elements, the construction is more easy using by CAD-CAM methods.

All the interior envelope is Corian with LEDs, a total of 93,200 LEDs, which illuminate the observatory. The LEDs are controlled by an Arduino board and controlled by computer, has several modes of operation.
The lighting are by zones and you can turn on with diferents intesinties. with the color you want, because the leds are RGB.
Also interaction between the LEDs and the environment. The envelope can copie the boreal aurora using camcorders, copying the color of the sky in its envelope. Information can also be transmitted by letters, or by the color of the envelope:
Associating RGB colour of LEDs to the weather, R: temperature, G: wind, B: humidity and according to the weather situation will be colored in one color or another.

LED points.


Solicitations of the main structure.

Structure simulation.