First Polaris Climate Change Observatory set for Waterfront site by 2014

Why Cape Town?

Cape Town is the perfect location for the first Polaris Climate Change Observatory, bringing together the ingenuity of one of Africa’s premier cities with a revolutionary concept which will change the way visitors understand the world, the changing climate and ways in which humanity can take responsibility and make decisions for the future.

The Polaris will be like no other place in the world today, by taking the visitor through the origins of the Earth right up to present day in a bid to put climate change into perspective.

There has been so much said and done on climate change. The multiplicity of science interactions and conflicting stories have muddied the waters of public understanding on what is happening to the Earth and climate today, and the near future perspectives.

The Polaris will demystify the climate change debate and give visitors the broad vision and understanding they need to make decisions about their own future.

Polaris will be built in the heart of the V&A Waterfront, on a Jetty that will be developed to offer visitors of all ages a striking experience as a path to sustainability.

Featuring permanent and temporary exhibitions, outreach and education activities, spectacular ways of presenting climate facts and figures, highlighting new science and innovations, the Polaris Climate Change Observatory will confirm Cape Town and South Africa as world landmarks for climate action.

The concept

The 3000 m2 PCCO building looks like a giant tabular iceberg floating on a large pool of water. It will make use of two powerful symbols to represent climate change:

An Earth globe acting as the focal point around which visitors will revolve during their visit. The globe will be used as a 3D screen to visualize key concepts.

A giant ice core through the heart of which will run a transparent spiral staircase. Ice cores are the repositories of Earth’s climatic history, going back up to 800.000 years. While descending the staircase, visitors will be presented with a summary of the various climatic periods.

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