The Icefiord Centre in Ilulissat
International competition entry of Arkís for Icefiord Centre in Ilulissat.
In competition with international highly esteemed architects; Snøhetta (No) Studio Other Spaces v. Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann (DE), Arkís Architects (IS), Kengo Kuma and Associates (JA), Rintala Eggertsson Architects (NO).
The form and architecture of Icefjord Centre is meant to raise awareness of how global warming is affecting the sustainability of the Greenland ice sheet and thereby, the sustainability of the whole world.
By seeking inspiration from traditional Inuit building methods, igloos and turf-huts, the construction will draw from the experience of the ancestors to retain heat and energy within its walls in the most sustainable
The exterior of the building, its form and inner structure is based on and reminiscent of the old Greenlandic turf-huts. A weather mantle will be placed on top of
the ground structure, a blanket of sorts made out of woven stainless steel, in tribute to the Greenlandic igloo. This will not only provide shelter for the building
itself from the forces of nature, but also make it a symbol for the great task at hand for all of mankind, the spurning against global warming and the melting
of the glaciers. The mantle will serve as a natural organism, a metaphor for the faltering glacier, by each year revealing to us the status of the ice sheet
by gathering ice and snow on top of itself. If there is no ice and snow covering the mantle it indicates that the snow status is not in balance and thus shows in a
visual way the impact of global climate change on the glaciers of the world.
The mantle is diverse which gives the effect of the building taking on different forms and colours depending on the light and weather. The inspiration
is sought from the transformations of the ice sheet, from the point of separation of the inland ice and until it moves out to sea as floating icebergs.
The idea is that the mantle serve as an architectural metaphor for the diversity of snow and its formation and the multiple words the locals have for snow and
different types of snow, and thus narrating to the guests of the Icefjord Centre the important and ever miscellaneous histories of the formation and shaping
of snow and ice in all its magnificence. The mantle is also meant to interpret global warming and the impact this global climate change and the melting of the
glaciers has on all life on earth.
Team : Arkís Architects
Landform Landscaping architects