Giulia Foscari & Francesco Bandarin
Federica Sofia Zambeletti
Human presence in Antarctica, necessary to conduct essential scientific investigations on the pressing global problems of climate change and sea-level rise, is not conceivable without technologically advanced architecture. At the eve of the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the Southernmost continent, the most inhospitable environment on planet earth with record temperatures of -80°C and maximum wind velocities of 327km/h, we believe it is urgent to research and document the extreme Antarctic territory with critical tools of analysis and representation.
Conceived to shed light on a continent that lies in the dark six months per year, Antarctica 200 is a cross-disciplinary project that aims to unveil the unique traits of the continent-laboratory, asses its indisputable role in the global ecosystem, understand the conflicting and fragile geopolitical implications of the Antarctic Treaty System, and document the evolution of Antarctic architecture to challenge the state of the arts and bring to the foreground prototypes for inhabitation in the extreme.
A detailed analysis of Antarctic settlements (from historic whalers shelters to the hyper-advanced contemporary scientific stations) will be instrumental to assess the logistic and technological complexity of building in such an extreme environment, the physical and psychological effects of remote inhabitation, and the levels of self-sustainability attainable with today’s technology - the latter being of upmost importance when considering life on other planets.
Directed by Giulia Foscari and Francesco Bandarin, Antarctica 200 relies on the close collaboration of a group of global experts from the fields of architecture, engineering, science, glaciology, international law, anthropology, fashion technology, literature and art.
Ranging from the scale of clothing (arguably the first architectural envelope at Antarctic latitudes) to that of the rapidly transforming polar territory, the body of research will be debated in occasion of the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale and will ultimately be disseminated in the form of a Publication.