a new frontier in-flux
studio hani rashid
university of applied arts vienna
in collaboration with jonghoon kim and mihai potra
Mankind’s continuous and relentless consumption and insatiable need for space is critical to the future of our planet. In particular, taking a closer look at the future of Antarctica is more critical now than ever.
The negative effects and problems we are beginning to witness as a result of greenhouse gases and global warming are nowhere more acute and apparent than in the delicate and untouched territories of both poles. By many accounts, the earth’s climate will change so dramatically over the next 100 years that the weather systems and temperatures we consider “normal” today in places like Alaska or the northern reaches of Scandinavia will become the weather systems that will envelop large swaths of Antarctica instead, making it eventually, perhaps in this century, inhabitable. The notion that large parts of Antarctica will become inhabited and will produce crops one day begs the question of how we as architects might consider such a future, taking into account two important mitigating factors. The first aspect is the fate of the continent as the earth’s population increases exponentially, which will invariably compel us to turn to this region for dwelling, tourism, mining, fishing, bioprospecting, energy production, and the like. The second aspect is that, with climate change and the melting and warming of polar ice caps, a domino effect of catastrophic proportions the world over will unimaginably alter coastline cities through rising sea levels.
As the world is facing dramatic climate change, both poles are the last places on earth with consistent snow conditions. In the not-so distant future, Antarctica might very well become the only location on earth that will be able to efficietnly host the winter olympic games. The proposal is for an event-based community that conforms and transforms to the ever-changing weather and environmental conitions of the region, made possible by a constant cycle and recylcing of prefabricated building components.