While I was perusing my daily "news sources", I came across a link at BoingBoing that caught my eye. The winner of the British Antarctic Survey's competition to design a new research base is this 800 ton structure that can be moved across the ice on its ski-laden legs.
Oddly, the first think that jumped to mid was a Lego set, #6520 Mobile Outpost from the Arctic Theme.
The British Antarctic Survey has announced the result of its competition to design a new research base on the frozen continent. The winning proposal offers researchers the opportunity to live in elevated modules perched on skis.
Thanks to the skis, the station can also be towed across the ice. The structure will be built on the Brunt Ice Shelf, which flows some 400 metres towards the sea each year. Initially positioned some 30 kilometres inland, the building will need to be moved some time within the next 10 to 20 years.
The station will replace the Halley V Research Station... The replacement, a steel, timber and aluminium structure designed by Faber Maunsell and Hugh Broughton Architects, will hopefully make life easier in Antarctica's desolate climes. The building, which resembles a train of insects marching across the ice, features a central module containing recreation areas, flanked by modules for research and living quarters.
Now I don't know if it just me, but this module looks extremely similar to the mobile lab from the Lego Artic Theme Mobile Outpost, set #6520. Just look at this closeup and check the comparison:
Colour: New Research Base - Blue, Lego Mobile Outpost - Blue
Mobility: New Research Base - Skis, Lego Mobile Outpost - Skis
Shape: New Research Base - Aerodynamically designed, Lego Mobile Outpost - Well, Kind of.
Adaptability: New Research Base - Telescoping Legs, Lego Mobile Outpost - Just add more bricks under the body to extend.
Contents: New Research Base - Recreation, Research and Living Modules, Lego Mobile Outpost - Research Module (more sets can be aded though:)
So there you have it. Innovations by Lego, ripped off by Faber Maunsell and Hugh Broughton Architects.