University Peak- Main Campus UANT









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 The University Peak Campus

The beauty of the University of Antarctica main campus does not escape its visitors, and must be seen to be believed. The Main Campus is located in University Valley, Victoria Land. It was consecrated in 1961 by researcher- explorers Heinz Janetschek and Fiorenzo Ugolini.


From modest beginnings, our University Peak Campus (UPC) has grown to comprise 15 structures, 3 roads and 11 pedestrian pathways, student commons and three thermal 'lakes', warmed year-round by our physical plant, which draws energy from the geological forces within the peak itself (See Campus Map).




Apollo Hall was built in 1969, the year of the US Moon Landing


While UPC is certainly one of the coldest campuses in the world, students are surprised to find how temperate, livable and full of vegetation it is; and to find it is warmed from the ground-up.


University Peak is the starting point for exhibitions to the outer reaches of the continent on science and research. An A-Z list of our facilities is as follows:

Administration Building

The UANT Administratin Building was built in 1999. The architect designed the entire building in a shape which cuts the plane of the viewer's horizon, relating a feeling of preparedness in a joint jouney into the future- the future of UANT and its students in the world.

Administration Building                                                          Apollo 11 Hall              

Apollo 11 Hall

Apollo 11 Hall was built in the mid-late 1960s, and named for the NASA Apollo Space Program's 11th vehicle, which first took mankind to another world. In fact, students call it 'the Moon' thanks to a very large scale model of the Moon / Earth system in its atrium. Apollo hall re-opened in 2009 after a year-long renovation.


The Biosphere experiments in North America are only the most famous of many such projects going on around the world. UANT's unique geographic position and climate worked to the university's favor in the case of the Biosfera Building. Originally a research facility, the university inherited it and now conducts experiments of its own here. Currently it is being used for research in human psychology and survival in long duration isolation, Hydroponic farming and in-situ resource utilization ('living off the land').

                Biosfera being populated                           A waterfall flash-frozen in the Gardens  

Botannical Gardens

A repository of every kind of Antarctic flora known, UANT's Botannical Gardens are a treasure for students, professors and visitors alike. A joint effort in the 1990s by the Colleges of Business and Natural Science, the new 'tourism-friendly' gardens are marked for independent research. Guided tours are also available.

Commons Area

If the Botannical Gardens represent a sampling of the vegetation of Antarctica and its surrounding islands, the student commons area is rather home to non-native plants. It is located in a large square along the footpaths between the Varga-Jeno Halls, Lason Hall and Navoyka Hall (underneath Number 6 on the map). Since it is heated by CECS, northern cold-weather trees grow here especially well. It is also a popular 'hang out' for students because of the temperature control.

    Commons area in the nighttime                                        Commons in the daytime       

Gazprom Arena (Ice Box)

One of our greatest additions to the atmosphere in University Peak must be the gaining of our small stadium, traditionally known as the Ice Box, now as Gazprom Arena. Conceptualized according to a revolutionary Auckland Engineering Partners design, in cooperation with UANT's Byrd Business College in the 1970s, Gazprom Field is now an Antarctic legend. The shell of the stadium was constructed in New Zealand, and then shipped on an 'ice barge' to Antarctica, before finally being hauled over-ice on a pre-cleared path to University Peak. For the last three decades, all the major sporting events have taken place here, as well as concerts and events. The stadium has a (then revolutionary) retractable roof, and is a key component in the storage and release of heat in the CECS (Campus Environmental Control System). It has a capacity of 5,003 and a full lighting array for evening matches.

     The Ice Box being brought to UANT                                                Lason Hall                       

Lason Hall

Built in the 1990s, loved by some and hated by others, Lason Hall is known throughout UANT as the place where most classes take place, most meetings are in front of, and most exams are- passed? failed?

Museum Hall (inc. Library)

Museum Hall was built in 1998 to house the four wings of the Antarctica Museum, and the UANT Library. The AM has three floors and six wings, including video archives.The library is linked to the museum by a 200 m. skyway.


  Museum Hall glows in the Antarctic air                Skyway tunnel from Museum to Library

Navoyka Hall

See: Residence Halls

Nikola Tesla Physical Plant

The power source for UANT University Peak, Tesla Physical Plant burrows into the University Peak geological formation, where it draws heat and energy from the geothermal source inside of it. 50 km away, Mt. Erebus, an active volcano near McMurdo Station, is connected to the same convection current. While Mt. Erebus must be monitored consistantly for seismic activity, the stretch of heat underneath University Peak is relatively stable, with no sign of posing danger. For maximum efficiency furthermore, energy is stored in the CECS.

                  Border of the CECS                                   Interesting natural sights inside CECS

Not to mention, it keeps the campus warm. Studied as a model in resource extraction and development, Tesla Plant was completed in 1987, and upgraded to a higher efficiency rating in 2004. The network of CECS subterranean heating canals connecting most campus buildings find Tesla Plant as their origin point. Without TPP, the campus would be treeless and covered with ice year-round.

Thermal Lakes

Students and visitors alike marvel at the three geothermal lakes on campus, created and maintained entirely by UANT's Physical Plant. Water temperatures vary from 28-38 Degrees Celcius, so they can get quite hot.


Clean steam rises above the Tesla Plant                      The warmest place on campus

Two of the lakes are connected by a small strait with a bridge overpassing it, and one lies alone, further out. The lakes are closed for swimming at 22:00 except on special occasions. See student film.

Varga-Jeno Halls

See: Residence Halls