Following in the footsteps of Roald Amundsen

The Indian government’s idea was to set up a research station in the Antarctic. The architect’s idea was to align the safety aspects and the extreme structural requirements with the building envelope, giving a panoramic view out onto the Polar region. The engineering firm’s idea was to build the station using over 130 prefabricated containers and add an extra outer envelope, whilst meeting the tight assembly deadline. The solution for the facades, windows and doors was provided by WICONA’s (modified and heat-insulated) aluminium mullion-transom facades and fire-protection windows and doors.

The forbidding Antarctic region is an international research site for meteorology, climatology and astrophysics. Comprising 134 containers, the New Indian Research Station Bharati was transported by ship to its site close to the Larsemann Hills on the Antarctic’s north coast. Having reached its destination, an assembly time frame, limited to three months due to the Antarctic summer, was set; all the parts had to be readily available and all the assembly steps perfectly synchronised. The extreme weather conditions in the South Pole region dictated the development details and facade construction. Enormous demands were placed on the material owing to the thermal and mechanical loads caused by blizzards bringing extremely heavy snowfalls, wind speeds of up to 270 km/h and temperatures of -40 °C and below. The glass facade part of the complex features a specially modified mullion-transom construction and triple-insulated glass elements with a 15° incline on the north-south side. The WICTEC 50 HI and WICLINE 75 WICONA systems (high-insulated versions) formed the basis. With this structure, the facade attains a Ucw value of 0.8 W/(m²K).

Given its design using pre-assembled elements, the facade construction adapts flexibly to the structure’s requisite modular concept. Fire protection was a primary concern when designing the container’s internal elements. Fire-protection doors (T30) and punch windows (F30) with turning sashes based on the WICLINE 75 and WICSTYLE 77 WICONA systems (fire-protected versions) provided the appropriate solution from the range portfolio. The Bharati Research Station demonstrates admirably how close team work among all those involved with construction ensures that ideas become reality - even under the most arduous conditions. Moreover, a combination of serial products, specifically modified applications and individually tested fire-protection constructions shows how flexibly WICONA technology can provide individually tailored solutions for your ideas.

From the construction site information board:

NCAOR, Goa (India)
IMS Ingenieurgesellschaft, Hamburg
bof Architekten, Hamburg
Kafer Construction, Bremen
Lenderoth GmbH, Bremen


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