Architecture in the Extreme

Antarctica 200 - Polar Lab

AA Gallery 15/9/2019 - 27/9/2019

Monday to Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday 10:00-17:00

ANTARCTICA 200 participates in London Design Festival by curating a dense agenda of events that bring together, for the first time, architects who operate in Antarctica and polar experts to debate the unique challenges of building in such an extreme environment.

Run by Antarctica 200 and its Polar Lab, the 168 hours-long programme includes a series of Round Tables and Lectures, an Exhibition and a Student Workshop.

Held at the Architectural Association - where the Polar Lab was conceived - ARCHITECTURE IN THE EXTREME will act as a think-tank, mobilising Polar Lab students and cross-disciplinary specialists to unveil neglected experimental Antarctic stations and construct the Archive of Antarctic Architecture.

The workshop provides the first occasion for the Polar Lab students researching at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Hong Kong University and the Architectural Association to converge in London for a joint Polar Lab session. 

During the course of the workshop, the students will develop the Antarctic Architecture Archive which will be displayed in the format of an exhibition. The latter can be visited at any time for the duration of the London Design Festival.

The workshop will be punctuated by Antarctic Conversations between the students and the architects contributing to the round tables. A detailed presentation on individual scientific stations will precede such conversations.

The calendar of Antarctic Conversations is as follows:

Monday 16th

11:00 – 12:00 am Rick Petersen on MC. MURDO (USA scientific station)

14:00 – 15:00 pm Hugh Broughton on SCOTT BASE (New Zealand scientific station)

Tuesday 17th

11:00 – 12:00 am Philippe Samyn on PRINCESS ELIZABETH (Belgian scientific station)

Thursday 19th

11:00 – 12:00 am Francesco Pellegrino on CONCORDIA (Italo-French scientific station) 

14:00 – 15:00 pm Bert Bücking on VOSTOK (Russian scientific station)


Curator: Giulia Foscari

London Design Festival Partner: Antarctica 200

Antarctica 200 Directors: Giulia Foscari, Francesco Bandarin

Polar Lab Directors: (Hong Kong) Juan Du, (Chile) Arturo Lyon, (UK) Giulia Foscari and Francesco Bandarin.

Contact details

Director's Office:
T: +44 (0)20 7887 4026


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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.