Extreme Lodge

High-tech / Low-carbon / High-efficiency

Antarctic Expedition Blog


We are developing two lodges for extreme climates. One structure and different building envelopes (soft shells) to suit freezing cold or extremely hot temperatures.

  • Polar Lodge
  • Desert Lodge
  • Features

  • The lodge can be carried and assembled by two non-experts
  • It withstands hurricane-force winds
  • It provides comfort in either frozen or hot deserts
  • Performance

    The design is an iterative process. After learning from numerical simulations of the composite structure and tests of the thermal performance of the building envelope in cold chambers, we are testing the lodge in the most inhospitable climate on earth, in Antarctica.

    Testing Sites

    Why Create the Extreme Lodge?

    The Context

    The world is facing unprecedented challenges in 2019 of which the two most challenging must be those of adapting to rapid climate change and learning to live without terminally polluting the planet. The Polar Lodge is a highly focussed project looking at ways of tackling those two key challenges in the extreme environments of Antarctica.
    Stay tuned to see how the building performs. Will it keep the researchers thermally safe and sheltered from the extremely high winds?.


    The Challenge

    We are creating the extreme lodge because the world’s weather is becoming more extreme and we aim to help inform and provide temporary, and emergency shelters in areas of extreme cold and winds that are easily transportable and that leave no pollution behind them. Polar Lodge version 1 was tested in 2016. It was re-eingineered into Polar Lodge version 2. How well will Polar Lodge 2 work? We don’t know but what is sure is that the knowledge gained from it will change the way we look at final structure design not only in tents but in the buildings around the world that will have to become stronger and safer to survive in the increasingly extreme climate and weather events that are growing commonplace everywhere.

    Check out more about the project and the team behind it

    Why We Care

    We are passionate about the built environment and love making buildings more efficient and effective.

    – Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere.

    Albert Einstein


    The Core Team

    The Polar Lodge project brings together three internationally experienced academic and expedition architects/academics.
    Manuel Correia Guedes created the Polar Lodge project in 2014 and led it ever since. Manuel is a Cambridge trained architect who is the Director of the Architectural Research Centre at the Instituto Superior Técnico at the University of Lisbon, that includes architectural engineering in its portfolio of courses. His many books are based on a broad international experience of passive and sustainable design in the Far East and Africa as well as Europe.
    Susan Roaf is an Emeritus Professor of Architectural Engineering at Heriot-Watt University and has also lived and worked as an academic and architect around the world and was also an anthropologist with Nomads in Iran and archaeologist for seven years on excavations in Iraq. Her many books include those on eco-design, sustainability and adaptive design for a changing climate.
    Joao Pinelo Silva is an ARB registered architect and University College London alumnus currently an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Bahrain. His research focuses on spatial cognition, urban planning, sustainable buildings and sustainability strategies for hot climates. He pursues an evidence-based approach, often working with, and developing software tools for problem definition and solving.

    Check out the whole team
    Academic Institutions

    Technical Partners / Sponsors

    Logistical Support

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