City Gallery City Gallery

Past event

NZIA City Talks: Extreme Conservation: Conserving Architectural Heritage in Antarctica

15 April 2019

The Antarctic huts of the continent’s first explorers still exist, yet need conservation. These huts are the only examples of the first Antarctic constructions and are remarkable artifacts of a not-too-distant age of heroic exploration.

Architects Chris Cochran and Pip Cheshire have been closely involved in the conservation of all these buildings. They will discuss the legislative and philosophical basis behind the conservation of the buildings, and the hands-on challenges of remoteness, environment and logistics faced by the conservation teams that have been working over the last ten summer seasons to bring them back from the brink.

Against the most hostile conditions, the will to protect a few lonely huts is unyielding. This is what makes Antarctica unique. The huts of the heroic-era left behind by Scott, Shackleton, and Borchgrevink, are internationally recognised as historically important. These huts are now protected by the Antarctic Treaty and actively cared for by the Antarctic Heritage trust based in Christchurch.