Galindez Island, Antarctica
Commissioned by Ukraine’s National Antarctic Research Center, Balbek Bureau has converted a defunct fuel tank into a typical Ukrainian home at the country’s research base in Antarctica, entitled Home Memories in an attempt to bring “home” closer to the Ukrainian researchers that live on the site.
The temporary installation, intended as a visual treat for the station staff and tourists, had to be easily assembled, resistant to severe weather conditions, and safe for more than 3,500 penguins living on the island.
“Our installation was inspired by a typical Ukrainian house – one associated with warmth, comfort, and grandmotherly coziness,” explains the studio.
“For our researchers, it is an evergreen memory of home – a daily reminder about something simple, warm, and dear. For tourists – an inspiration to start planning their trip to Ukraine itself.”
The architects have designed the installation based on a composite image of a Ukrainian rural house.
“The art installation, designed a year before the invasion, took on a new meaning,” says Balbek Bureau’s CEO and founder Slava Balbek.
Around the tank, Balbek Bureau has added a thin detailed frame resembling a pencil sketch: as if a child, reminiscing, draws their home from memory.
To accompany the installation, the team has created a mini exposition with souvenirs from Ukraine, including a sample of the UNESCO-listed Kosiv painted ceramics and a lump of coal from the Donetsk region embedded in resin.
The exhibition was later expanded with the help of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.
The disassembled structure was delivered to the Vernadsky base in the spring of 2022, but the mounting was postponed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Project: Home Memories Installation
Architects: Balbek Bureau
Lead Architect: Slava Balbek
Design Team: Anastasiia Partyka and Alyona Tryhub
3D Artists: Nik Key and Valerii Stefanov
Graphic Designers: Dasha Levchuk, Oleksandra Zavada
Project Manager: Arina Petrenko
Photographers: Slava Balbek