Settled in the centre of the widest, most stable habitat on Sable Island, Main Station is safe from dune breeches and washouts. It provides work and living space for 5 long term National Park and Maritime Weather Services staff and up to 12 short term staff. The program requires structures at ground level to house workshop, garage, fuel storage, water treatment, and hydrogen shed facilities with concrete containment oors to prevent hazardous spills.
In its privileged position the station can remain strategically static to house the unique program. Planter retaining walls around the structure encourage growth of marram grass to form an ‘artificial dune’ which anchors the station and creates a wind protected microclimate. Taking advantage of wind patterns, sediment transport principles and stabilizing vegetation the building deflects and channels wind to automatically clear access paths, and build stable terrain.
A courtyard provides an excellent social plan to lighten challenges of isolation for permanent staff residences.
The length and width are adjusted to reduce facade size to the prevailing wind.
Sloping the west facade to the prevailing wind reduces windload and risk of damage.
The south facade can be sloped for optimal year-round energy production with a solar facade system.
Sloping the roof further reduces windload and increases capacity for solar power generation.
Wind is most turbulent around endges, so proactively ‘eroding’ windward corners with entrance and balcony openings reduces stress on connections.
This sediment transport diagram shows anticipated sand accumulation and erosion at Main Station, and indicates naturally cleared paths suitable for access roads.
The venturi effect accelerates wind and sand through a gap between the lower garage sturcutre and upper living
space to prevent the building being buried. Sediment accumulation and erosion is naturally balanced by seasonal
storm winds: Sand accumulates under the courtyard during winter
Sediment accumulation and erosion is naturally balanced by seasonal storm winds: Sand accumulates under the courtyard during winter storm winds.
Accumulated sand is cleared from the courtyard during summer storm winds.
1 Entry staircase formed by planter retaining wall
2 Field lab
3 Public washrooms
4 Private staff washrooms
5 Food storage and kitchen facilities
6 Common room
7 Tower and ground access stair
8 Bunk rooms and private staff rooms
9 Office facilities
10 Weather protected courtyard promotes outdoor living and reduces need for heated space.