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Polar station, Bharati (ATA)

Modern research station in the Antarctic – view on the eternal ice thanks to a glass façade made by Thiele Glas

Located on the peninsula of Larsemann Hills region in the north-eastern part of the Antarctic the Indian research station Bharati provides 2500 square meters work and living space for around 50 people. 

Only a small time slot in the Antarctic summertime from November 2011 until March 2012 was available for the construction of the 50-meter-long, 30-meter-wide and 12-meter-high polar station. For this reason means of transport – sea containers – have been used simultaneously as inner shell and supporting structure of the building. 134 in Germany already produced pre-mounted and furnished sea containers were shipped to building site. In combination with the frontally attached façade elements they seem as a uniform futuristic surface. 

Extreme climate conditions with wind loads up to 300 km/h, temperatures up to -40°C, snow drifts and extensive solar radiation place high demands on the material and became very challenging for architects and construction engineers. In order to achieve a room temperature of 23°C an excellent thermal insulation is necessary. Therefore the Christophe Lenderoth GmbH located in Bremen developed a special aluminum-glass-construction in mullion-transom-matrix with triple insulated glass units of Thiele Glas and electrically heated frames. More than 200 square meter TG-THERM®sun SKN174 II, a highly heat insulating glass with an additional sun-protection coating have been produced at Thiele Glas premises in Wermsdorf. 

The big glass panels applied at the 15°-inclined exterior facade of the research station permit a unique view out of the ice. Furthermore a transmission of 57% allows a large amount of light to flood the inside of the building. However they also protect the station from the Antarctic weathering conditions due to great thermal insulation values (e.g. U-value of 0.8 W/m²K) and a low energy transmission of 32%.

Object Name: Polar Station Bharati
Object Type:
  • facade design
Construction Type:
  • new building
Construction Time: 2011 - 2012
Client: National Centre for Antartic & Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa (Indien)
Architect: bof architekten, Hamburg
Other participants: KAEFER Construction GmbH (construction company)
IMS Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH (engenieer)
Heinrich Lamparter Stahlbau GmbH (steel construction)
Christophe Lenderoth GmbH Glasfassaden I Metallbau (structural facing)
Miscellaneous: European Steel Award 2013
Glass Types:
  • TG-THERM®sun
  • TG-ESG®
Glass Amount: more than 200 m²
Image Rights: © IMS/bof, © KAEFER

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