Module Train B
Building HAL B11A
Bâtiment HAL B11A
Links and documents
1955/01/01 to 1956/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located in a remote arctic area, Module Train B is a one-storey, long, narrow structure composed of pre-fabricated modules that sit on open timber deck platform foundations, with a flat, ribbed roof laid end to end and a long gabled roof extension with a matching eave height and a similar width to the original module train, dormitory and common-room modules display double windows and service modules, such as the laundry room are served by a single window. The exterior of the building is largely clad in metal and there is a mechanical conduit bridge linking Module Train B and Module Train A. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Module Train B is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Module Train B at FOX-M main station, provides one of the best illustrations associated with the continental air-defence programs during the Cold War, the opening of the Canadian Arctic to Federal Government programs and services, the growth of Hall Beach, an important Arctic community, and its role in establishing and maintaining a Canadian military presence in the Canadian Arctic. As part of one of four main stations constructed for the DEW (Distant Early Warning) Line, Module Train B was part of a joint US-Canada effort to monitor Arctic airspace through an innovative radar and radio system designed to provide advance warning to North American military authorities of a possible air attack from the Soviet Union. FOX-M also served as a regional communications hub, supply center and administrative base for 8 to 10 auxiliary and intermediate stations in the area and Module Train B provided accommodation for personnel required to fulfill the station’s role as a regional hub.
Module Train B is a very good example of a functional military structure. Its design reveals a unified design concept that resulted from a skillfully planned, expertly executed and highly funded building program. It is distinguished by its module construction technology, its proximity to Module Train A and unique footprint. Its high quality materials and test pre-fabricated components are part of a design program that responded directly to both military considerations and to the remote Arctic location of the site. Its raised platform foundation and the gravel pad in the building area also demonstrates a competent engineering solution for building in permafrost conditions that set a standard for construction across the Canadian North.
Module Train B’s location in the operation sector of the FOX-M DEW Line station strictly parallel to Module Train A, the radome and attached by a walkway, near two communications billboards is of strategic value in maintaining and establishing the technological and military character of the site in its military–industrial complex setting. Gravel pads serve as visual and functional boundaries for the building areas within the airfield and operations sectors of the station and huge corner reflectors at the edge of the operations sector contribute to the site’s historic communications function. The DEW Line station is well known in the adjacent community of Hall Beach and visitors to the hamlet are often treated to a visit to the station.
Sources: FOX-M, Hall Beach, Nunavut, Federal Heritage Building Report 99-021; Module Train ‘B’, FOX-M Station, Hall Beach, Nunavut, Heritage Character Statement, 99-021.
The character-defining elements of Module Train B should be respected.
-its one-storey, long, narrow footprint composed of 26 pre-fabricated modules each 7 metres long and 5 ½ metres wide with a flat ribbed roof laid end to end demonstrating its modular construction technology;
-its 23-metre long gable roof extension with a matching eave height and a similar width to the original module train;
-its exterior metal cladding and the size, form and spacing of door and window openings dictated by each modules function;
-the mechanical conduit bridge spanning between Module Train A and Module Train B;
-its open timber deck foundation raised about one and one-half meters above the ground level as a competent permafrost solution, building insulator and aid for circulation of snow reducing snowdrifts;
-its heating system designed to reduce fuel consumption by re-circulating heat generated by radar and communications equipment;
-the gravel pad as the primary landscape feature to provide a barrier between the buildings and the permafrost and to create a level surface for accessibility on the site.
The manner in which Module Train B establishes the technological and military character of the site in its military-industrial complex setting.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Classified Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Military Defence Installation
Architect / Designer
LaPierre, Litchfield and Partners, and Western Electric Company
Location of Supporting Documentation
Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Québec J8X 0B3
Cross-Reference to Collection