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Svalbard. Photo by Reuben Wu

“Any environmental design task is characterized by an astounding amount of unavailable or indeterminate information.”
—Nicholas Negroponte, The Architecture Machine

The North and South Poles are somehow a terra incognita for architects. The harsh conditions of this environments are related more with the power of ideas than materiality, while we are still speculating about how to conquer this territory of the virtually unknown, as Peter Cook pointed on MAP 001 Antartica. These territories, the Artic and the Antartic, has been inspiration for artists, poets, musicians and architects, who have been working to discover the secrets hidden behind the masses of ice that shape these lands.

With all this facts in mind, it is interesting to revisit some history about built projects in this areas, such as the Halley VI Antartic Research Station or the Princess Elisabeth Station as examples to understand what have…

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