Antarctica New Zealand have been given their first look inside the new, $357 million Scott Base. Not at the frozen edge of Ross Island, but 3800km north, not far from the construction site in Timaru.
In a warehouse in Canterbury, sections of the living quarters have been built at a 1 to 1 scale. As the continent's first prefabricated base there won't be a second chance at the new Scott Base. It has to be ready for anything when it is shipped to the Ross Sea.
"It's never been done with an Antarctic base before," says lead architect, Hugh Broughton.
As the head of Hugh Broughton Architects, the firm has designed six polar bases with the Australian, British, Spanish and US programme. However, New Zealand's new home for the next 50 years is a stand out challenge.
10,000 square metres of building will be moved at once.
"It's all going to be built on the dockside in its entirety, cut into eight sections, then rolled onto a big flat bedded ice-strengthened ship and reassembled in Antarctica."
To help fine-tune the living quarters and the layout, Antarctica NZ personnel have been invited to visit the large mockup and give feedback. This has included experts, scientists and base workers who have spent time on the ice.
Assembled out of cardboard walls there are printed portholes and post-it-notes, showing floor plans. It looks more like the planning of an elaborate bank heist, rather than a world-class science station.
Inside the cardboard maze are mock ups for bedrooms, including short-stay quad bunks for visiting research teams and long-stay quarters, with a few more creature comforts to help them over winter.
A lot of consideration has gone into finding a balance of personal comfort and a space that encourages community.
"The last thing you want is for people to withdraw into their cabins," he says.
Fostering a sense of community and New Zealand identity has been a key part of the brief.
"It has a really strong sense of welcome," says Broughton. "It's overlooked by a big window with a big deck externally and a briefing room which people are received into."
Wooden panels of Southland beech, carpeting and floor fittings have been chosen to reflect home.
Using large, reinforced windows, the base keeps residents in touch with the harsh outside environment as well as reminders of home. Even the covered bridges, which are twice the width of the current walkways, have large portholes out into the Ross Sea.
Hokitika artist Fayne Robinson is carving a Waharoa archway through which visitors will pass, when entering the buildings.
Everything from space, natural light to the material and colour has been considered to make the base as welcoming as possible.
"We've worked very closely with a colour psychologist. She drew inspiration from people who live and work in New Zealand and has come up with a colour pallet to support that."
On the subject of colour, Antarctica New Zealand have narrowed the final base design to three schemes which they are hoping the public will help decide.
One is cucumber green which is the colour of the current base, the second is orange - the same colour as Sir Edmund Hillary's heritage hut and blue - which reflects the colour of the New Zealand flag.
Open to a public vote, the current leader is green with 52 per cent, with orange fast closing in at 27 per cent and blue around 21 per cent.
Not wishing to lead the vote, Broughton is hoping for a bright Orange base, but you can have your say via the Antarctica New Zealand website:
Voting closes at midnight on Tuesday 14 June.
ANTARCTIC TREATY: SCOTT BASE'S INTERNATIONAL NEIGHBOURS
As a New Zealand outpost in international Antarctic Treaty territory, the Scott Base designs were submitted for feedback from the international committee. Most recently at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Berlin which concluded on 2 June.
Jon Ager Antarctica New Zealand's project director for the Scott Base Redevelopment says that this has been largely positive, especially from neighbouring bases.
The US McMurdo Base also on Ross Island is close enough that it shares a power grid with Scott Base, as well as logistic links from Christchurch. The new wind farm will be helping both bases.
"As we go forward we'll not only be able to generate our own energy, but it will also be a fringe benefit to the US programme," he says.
New Zealand and the US and other national Antarctic programmes based out of Christchurch continue to share a lot of logistics, such as C17 links to the Ross Sea with the US National Science Foundation and Raytheon.
Most recently New Zealand's new, ice-strengthened HMNZS Aotearoa led a resupply mission over the summer.
"The Aotearoa has been brilliant as a national vessel," says Ager, and New Zealand's own capacity to operate in the South Seas has helped support this "important relationship."
Nowhere is this relationship more clear than on the bases in Ross Island, Scott and McMurdo. There is even a modest range of souvenirs and T-shirts for sale in the bases.
"There is a degree of managed tourism, that's not why Antarctica New Zealand are there," says Ager "but we do see visitors."
Around 200 private visitors arrive in the Ross Sea in the busiest summers. For now the area is the preserve of state-sponsored science programmes, rather than sightseeing.
The new bases will help support more people, in greater comfort as they science, conservation and heritage projects.
Both bases are undergoing redevelopments, with Scott increasing from 86 to around 100 people at maximum capacity.
New Zealand's new base is moved into position over the next eight years and, when it finally arrives on Ross Island next to the original 1957 Hillary hut and Scott's Cape Evans cabin from 1911, it will be an exciting new landmark on the continent - whatever colour they decide to paint it.