Polaris Harborfront Center

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Polaris Harborfront Center
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General information
Location Polaris Capitol District
Type Capitol
Style High-tech architecture
Address 2 Capitol Avenue
Owner(s) Federal Republic of Polaris
Started January 2, 2000
Completed December 19,2004
Height 1,595 ft.
Architect KTL/Partners
Status Complete


The Polaris Harborfront Center is the seat of the government of the Federal Republic of Polaris, and the home of the Legislative Congress of Polaris, as well as several departments and agencies of the government. The Polaris Harborfront Center is presently the largest office building in Antarctica by total floor space, with a floor space of about 21 million sq. feet. The Polaris Harborfront Center is located in the Polaris Capitol District, a 3.5 sq. mile piece of reclaimed land located at the tip of Polaris Island.

The Polaris Harborfront Center was designed by Kai-Tak Lee and Partners (KTL/Partners), the largest architectural firm in the Federal Republic of Polaris. Ground broke on the site on April 3, 1997, and was officially dedicated on December 19, 2006; two years behind schedule. The building itself is noted as the most expensive project in Polarian history, costing $41.259 billion, a significant portion having been funded through private donors.

On a daily basis, 156,000 employees work at the Polaris Harborfront Center; the largest employer being the Polarian Department of Defense, having 17,575 workers. The building is estimated to have more than 35 miles of corridors, and has approximately 296 elevators (including 44 double-decker elevators) , and 115 stairwells for transport.

The office building also produces its own electricity, through phosphoric acid cells, providing up to 9.75 MW of electricity for the building. Solar cells have also been installed on the roofs of the east, central and west towers, producing an additional 2.25 million watts of power. The ultra-clear glass used for the windows at the Polaris Harborfront Center allows for more sunlight to illuminate office spaces. Lights in office spaces are also equipped with automatic dimmers, reducing energy consumption by the building. Unlike the predecessors to the Polaris Harborfront Center, the building is heated through steam.

History[edit]

Planning and construction[edit]

Polaris City's first government building, the Kingfish Complex, built in 1917 under Khanzem occupation, served as the capitol of Polaris until 1999, when the building underwent structural renovations. Although the Kingfish Complex provided a stable home for Polaris City's government, it was situated far from Downtown Polaris City, where most city bureaucrats were situated, in Connery Square Hall and the City Services Building. Many legislators and bureaucrats alike found it challenging to have to commute forty-five minutes to the outskirts of the city, where the Kingfish Complex was located. Successive municipal administrations sought to address this problem, though many bureaucrats and legislators were reluctant to move from their respective buildings, leaving both parties at a stalemate, and the arrangement in place.

By 1985, some Polarian municipal bureaucrats contemplated the construction of a new Polarian capitol near Governor's Island, which had been revitalized thirty years earlier for use by the District Government. However, the Water Kingdom government refused to apportion land on Governor's Island to the city or the district, leaving the new capitol in limbo. Nevertheless, the persistence of various public officials resulted in the formation of the independent Rowers-Bomyn Commission in 1990 which sought to lay out a plan for a centralized government district in Polaris. With the input of urban planners, stakeholders, legislators, and ordinary citizens, the Commission released its report in 1996, following significant delay. The new plan called for the construction of the Polaris Capitol Centre, which would house the legislative and executive branches of the Polarian government. The building would also feature ample space for lease to private firms. This included a commissioned design proposal from Kai-Tak Lee, a prominent Polarian architect, who designed the building to "...project the power of government, while emphasizing openness..."

With the approval of city and district officials, the Polaris Capitol Centre broke ground on April 3, 1997. Construction continued even through the Antarctic Revolution, albeit with greater costs due to the difficulty of obtaining building materials at the time. With a two-year delay, the building was completed in December 2006, to much fanfare throughout the city. However, municipal bureaucrats were not fully moved into the building until June 2007, with the gradual transition of offices into the building.

Formation of the Federal Republic of Polaris (2011)[edit]

During the constitutional negotiations with the United States on autonomy in 2010, the Jackson Point Plan, which sought to drastically reduce municipal power in the new Polarian state and devolve them to the state and federal governments, prompted many Polarian municipal officials to advocate for the takeover of the Polaris Harborfront Centre by the new federal government, and to move the new Polaris City government to Connery Square Hall, the City Services Building, and the City Mail Tower.

As the process of autonomy progressed on, the Polarian municipal bureaucracy, alongside those of other municipalities was reduced by 70%, most former municipal bureaucrats transitioning to roles in either state or federal bureaucracy. In anticipation, this saw the reorganization of the entire Polaris Harborfront Building beginning in June 2010, and the eviction of various private firms leasing the upper floors of the building. By July 2011, when the Federal Republic of Polaris was formed, 85% of departments were already fully functional, though it would take until April 2012 for the Department of Defense offices to be fully equipped and functional.

Architecture[edit]

The Polaris Harborfront Center reflects the high-tech and international architectural styles. The building is reputed for its imposing and prominent place in the cityscape of Polaris City. Though the building was initially slated to have glass curtain walls throughout the entire building, structural integrity concerns raised by engineers assessing the architectural plans resulted in the use of conventional windows. The building attempts to square, according to architect Kai-Tak Lee, the elements of authority, openness, and functionality through a minimalist design motif throughout the building's interior.

The building has 110 floors, rising to a height of 1,595 feet. The building contains an atrium and lobby on the ground level, and one sky lobby located on the 60th floor. The Polaris Harborfront Center has over 16,875 windows, which take up to two months to clean. The building also has 35 miles of corridors combined, and also has more than 29,000 miles of cables. The building also has two data facilities located on the 59th and 16th floors. building is connected by 296 elevators, including 44 double-decker elevators, and 23 service elevators.

The Polaris Harborfront Center also has a two-level retail and dining concourse, containing a food court and high-end shopping mall. Beneath the concourses are a network of maintenance tunnels, sanitation facilities, and electric power generators.

The building is the largest office complex within all of Antarctica, and is not expected to be overtaken within the next two decades. More than 156,000 workers commute to the building daily, and is serviced by its own subway station (Polaris Capitol-Haborfront), and also has one of the largest parking garages in the continent, having 7,775 underground parking spaces, and a 40,545-space parking garage located next to the building itself, and is 8 high. The parking lot is connected to the building's lower concourse and shopping center, and also has a skybridge connecting to the second level of the parking deck from the lobby of the Polaris Harborfront Center.

Interior[edit]

Atrium[edit]

The lobby of the Harborfront Center contains twenty-two security checkpoints reserved for government employees and workers, operated by the Department of Defense, and contains a seven-story atrium and galleria, known as the Liberty Atrium; adorned with a variety of flora, notably the palmetto trees and shrubs located inside the atrium. On the ground floor of the atrium are food and retail stores, ranging from private-owned, high-end clothiers, to ticketing offices for major airlines, totaling to approximately twenty-five stores as of January 2013, as well as entrances to ground-level administrative offices and underground parking levels. A tapestry of tempered-glass pedestrian skyways connect corridors and offices of the several floors above the atrium, as well as 55 elevators which exist throughout certain points in the atrium itself.

The Liberty Atrium is best known for its murals, friezes and art displays, and its practice of implementing the usage of Latin words, which are used to exemplify the characteristics and values of the Polarian state as it is, "Semper pro omnibus", a phrase coined by University of South Pole City professor John Lilliano Mallen, epitomizing the tolerance, tenacity and resolve of the Polarian government and its people. The atrium possesses a circular centrum, possessing an ornate fountain, embellished with the Statue of Progress, a 57.5 foot tall, copper and marble statue created by renowned Enderby artist Kala M. Darianas. The atrium acts as an arterial route for workers headed to; between and from offices, for it divides the buildings in two.

The lobby, aside from a reception des

Offices[edit]

The floors above, and adjacent to the atrium are predominantly utilized for the offices of the mainline operations of the several departments of the federal government of Polaris, ranging from the largest tenant, the Department of Defense, which occupies over 30 floors, to the Department of Agriculture and Food, occupying a mere four floors. The offices are noted to have a quite minimalistic, employing the use of tempered and frosted glass throughout the office spaces, and is home to over 74,105 computers and 1100 televisions to feed Internet access, communications, and television access to over 67,000 workers. State-of-the-art technology allows for meeting rooms to make glass opaque for private meetings, extremely secure telephone calls and one of the fastest Internet connections available within the continent.

From the 85th to 106th floors are the private offices of the 500 legislators of the Legislative Congress of Polaris, who occupy a combined 30 floors for their office spaces, which have seven committee hearing rooms, used for meetings for congressional committees, three dedicated to each chaber of Congress, and one being interchangable with either chamber. The 500 office spaces are 1,500 sq. feet each for Representatives, and 2,500 sq. ft for Senators. Representatives typically have no more than four congressional staff, while Senators have no more than nine congressional staff.

Between the 107th and 108th floors are the Executive Administrative Council offices, which house the private offices of the associate members of the Executive Council, the Vice President of the EAC and the President of the EAC. The offices of each associate member are double that of the size of a Congressional office, at 15,000 sq. feet each. The offices bear much of the same amenities as seen in the aforementioned offices, however, each office was expanded to include a private 16-seat meeting room with several advanced communication technologies, including secure videoconferencing. In addition to a 16-seat meeting room, there is a receptionist, thrity-two cubicle positions, three smaller private offices; reserved for upper staff of each Associate Member, and a 565 sq. ft. private executive office for the Associate member. All of the associate members' offices are positioned on the 107th floor.

Mercantile Manor[edit]

The Mercantile Manor is situated on the 107th floor of the building, and occupies the entirety of the 107th floor. Though not considered an official residence for the President of the Executive Administrative Council, it is mostly considered the official office for the both the Vice President and President. The Mercantile Manor is namesake of a name suggestion by the Polarian Harbor Commission, as the site of the PHC occupies the old placement of the Polarian Mercantile Manor, which had regulated the flow of commerce throughout the ports of Polaris during the 19th and mid-20th centuries. The Manor is among the most exquisite offices throughout the building, and is decorated in a modern, yet colonial style, a tribute to the building's past history. The floor is also known for its grandiose ballroom, known to host several functions for high officials of the Polarian government yearly.

The 107th floor contains the offices of the Vice President, whose office space is 23,300 sq. ft, and is staffed by sixty-four employees, a 30-seat meeting room, and a security operations room. The Vice President's office is located on the west side of the building, and is accessed through a highly-secured elevator and staircases. The Vice President's office is separated from the President's section by a rather wide, ornate corridor. The President's office occupies a majority of the remainder of the spaces located on the 107th floor. The Media Press Briefing Room is situated adjacent to the Presidential office, and has ninety-two designated media positions; which allows for 2 correspondents and a modern, computerized workstation, a media broadcast and camera dais, and occupies 3,015 sq. ft, and the venue for the delivery of daily press reports and conferences by the President, as well as his staff.

The President's office, on the other hand, is among the largest office facilities in the building, housing 225 workers, and several rooms.

Tenants[edit]

Floors Tenants
Lower Concourse McDoodle's, Snowbucks, Fisch and Chips, Burger Khan, Eastshield Fried Fish, Frys Chalet, Dorenga Coffee Company, Docklands Delicatessen, Myrios Mediterranean Grill, Hanjurian Wok, L.P. Stevenson's Diner,
Upper Concourse Bartley, Dulce & Leche, Janice Friar, R.K. Sherrian, Dili International, Cirrus, Ardenia & Co., La Playa, Offenheimer, Galencio Roberts, Nashton, Herdwell's, Polarcom, Alleyway,
Lobby The Wharf Cafeteria, Polaris National Guard Precinct Office, Government Services Office, Polaris Harborfront Center Visitors' Center,
1-6 Department of Transport
7-12 Department of Public Works and Infrastructure
13-16, 18-40 Department of Defense
40-47 Department of Health and Education
48-54 Department of State
55-62 Department of Economic Affairs, Labour and Commerce
59 Sky Lobby & Crosswinds Cafeteria
63-73 Department of Finance
73-78 Department of Agriculture
79-84 Department of the Environment and Utilities
85-87 Chambers of the Senate and the Assembly of Representatives, Congressional Committee Rooms A-E, Congressional Cafeteria
88-93 Assembly of Representatives Offices, Congressional Committee Rooms F-I
93-96 Senate Offices, Congressional Committee Rooms J-N.
97-99 Department of Immigration
100 Arts Council of Polaris, Polaris Film Council, Archeology and Antiquities Polaris,
101 Polaris Tourism Agency, Museums and Archives Administration of Polaris,
102 Civil Ombudsman of Polaris, Election Commissioner of Polaris, Civil Rights Commissioner of Polaris,
103 Polaris Telecommunications Regulation Commission, Polaris National Broadcasting System (PNBS)
104-107 Office of the Executive Council, Office of the Civil Chancellor, Office of the Secretariat to the Council,
108 Observation Deck, Le Mistral Cafeteria
16-17,41,59,109-110 Mechanical floors

Security[edit]

Containing the central offices of most federal departments and agencies, in addition to the Legislative Congress of Polaris, the Executive Council, and Mercantile Manor, the Polaris Harborfront Center is subject to a heightened level of security around its premises. The facility is accessible through twenty-three security checkpoints, through which both staff and visitors may enter the building. While visitors are required to pass through extensive security screening, the same requirements are not normally levied on staff. All staff, prior to recruitment, most undergo a stringent security screening process in order to mitigate risk. Following this, staff are provided with contactless security passes.

Security for the Polaris Harborfront Center is handled by the Central Government Protective Service (CGPS), a subsidiary of the Capitol District Security Service. The unit, composed of a force of 875 officers on rotation, and 59 civilian staff, is responsible for overseeing staff accreditation, identifying and assessing security threats, and protecting high-level government officials, including member of the Legislative Congress of Polaris and the Executive Council. The CGPS is overseen by the Sergeant-at-Arms, appointed by the Legislative Congress of Polaris to oversee internal security at the Legislative Congress of Polaris, a position currently filled by Bennett Bareille, appointed in 2011.