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Frozen dinner

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There was a certain incongruity in seeing a projection of Hugh Broughton’s jaunty pavilions for the Halley VI Antarctic Research Station in front of the magnificent baroque decorations of the Painted Hall at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. Broughton in fact is working at the college, on a very discreet disabled lift. But the reason for the images was a magnificent dinner with speakers on the topic ‘Extreme architecture: saving and surviving the ice’. Speakers included not only Broughton and engineer Peter Ayres of Faber Maunsell on the designs of the research station, but also Professor David Vaughan, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey on research on global warming. Fortunately the third speaker, Dr Mike Stroud, did not speak till after dinner, as his tales about trekking across the south pole with explorer Ranulph Fiennes could have put the sensitive off their dinner – especially the part when Fiennes removed his sock and took a toe with it.

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