Extreme machine

When London-based Hugh Broughton Architects won the competition to build Halley VI, Britain’s latest Antarctic research station, the outfit had never built anything like it. It was 2005, and a year earlier the firm had entered the competition almost on a whim. ‘They were looking for a practice with a large portfolio of projects to draw upon, with lots of experience in sustainability and prefabrication,’ recalls founding director Hugh Broughton, laughing, ‘and a proven track record that included work abroad and remote installations.’ At the time, his office was renovating a basement in Soho and doing some office refurbs in the UK, having completed only one project abroad, the Malaysian headquarters of the British Council in Kuala Lumpur.

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