Polaris Climate Change Observatory - Cape Town, South Africa

The International Polar Foundation was founded by scientific explorers and is sponsored by the Belgium and Monaco royal families. It has successfully built the Princess Elizabeth research station in Antarctica, which is supplied from Cape Town in South Africa. Their ambition is to build the “Polaris Climate Change Observatory” as an interactive museum to bridge science and society through education.

The Foundation has been offered a site by the Victoria & Albert Waterfront who have an obligation to support public buildings within their precinct. This would involve integrating the museum with a working dock area, building over an operating jetty and incorporating historic ship loaders and gantry.

PFAL personnel while working for Arup, provided integrated financial, strategic and design advice to the Foundation. In addition, PFAL personnel engaged with international and local stakeholders/partners in parallel with conducting market research. PFAL personnel developed a feasible project strategy that provided a viable commercial proposition (including restaurant and retail space) that makes best use of the challenging site, the adjacency to the museum and local market opportunities, and translated these into a commercial structure and funding/financing plan.

  • Type: design
  • Year Completed: ongoing
  • contract duration: 2010-2011
  • Transaction Size: confidential

Team Experience