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Antarctic architect denies research station scheme has been frozen

The architect behind the new Halley VI research station in Antarctica has hit back at claims the project is in jeopardy.

According to a report on QS Week- the AJ's sister website - the scheme has been 'put on ice' because initial costings had exceeded the British Antarctic Survey's (BAS) £19 million budget.

However architect Hugh Broughton, who spoke to the AJ from the Antarctic, maintains the research station will still be completed on time, even though construction work has now been put back a year.

The delay will give BAS time to investigate affordable methods of delivering the project and give the design team, which includes Faber Maunsell, time to carry out 'thorough testing of prototypes'.

Broughton said: 'There is certainly no chance of cancellation or even postponement of the end date, which is controlled by the predicted calving of the Brunt Ice Shelf - not something you can really argue with!'

He added: '[However] the detail scope of the project is currently under discussion [and] we have every confidence that this process will be completed very soon. Architecturally it is not envisaged that the scheme will need to change to any great degree from that won in competition in 2005.'

The project will start on site in December 2007 and the expected completion date will remain, as planned, in December 2009.

Read Hugh Broughton's online diary from the Antarctic at www.ajplus.co.uk/antarctic

by Richard Waite

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