A new scientific research station opened its doors last week in Amundsen-Scott, the southern-most inhabitable spot on our planet. It belongs to the US, and took 20 years and $174 million to design and build. Its creators are hoping it will last, this timeā€”its previous incarnations were eventually buried by snow and fated for demolition. Here are some of the rad features of this building.

  • It sits on 36 steel columns that keep it off the icy ground.
  • The aerodynamic exterior blows gale-force winds under the station, not right at it, and pushing accumulating snow to the backside of the building instead of letting it accumulate underneath.
  • When the snow does eventually make its way up to the building (which it will, because Antarctica is brutal like that), hydraulic jacks will raise the building up even further.
  • Top US researchers in the fields of neutrino astronomy, cosmology, seismology, and atmospheric physics are going to be hanging out here, discovering cool stuff.
  • It houses a full-court gym, a music room, a library, a pool table, a wet bar, a hydroponic greenhouse, and private rooms with Internet.

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Image by Robert Schwartz for USAP

Snow place like home [The Economist]