Heard Island Research Station
By Leesa Cheong-Cano and Aldryn John Matias
Architecture Comprehensive Design | Michael Garrison and Vince Snyder
Despite being one of the most remote islands in the Southern Hemisphere, Heard Island continues to be relevant and critical precedent for climate change. Since the 1950s, the island’s glaciers have recessed significantly, provoking the research of its geology and inhabitants. Former settlements on the island were comprised of temporary tents, which are deprived of both comfort and essence. We propose a more permanent solution, greatly inspired by local and global context. The project is driven by a series of individual pods that are related in form and construction. Each pod is purposefully arranged to separate live, work, and play functions; the isolation of program grants privacy and promotes efficiency through the simulation of a familiar work routine. As a direct reference to both the landscape and its delicate climatic position, the pods are characterized by a certain softness yet dynamic quality. To unify the scheme and shelter inhabitants from the elements, modular terminals weave through the pods as a form of passage between program. Aside from the ground connection, both pod and terminal assemblies are able to be prefabricated and shipped to the site resulting in simplified construction, gentler intervention and a reduced carbon footprint.