The cultural centre in Ilulissat, Greenland will feature the UNESCO-World Heritage site’s spectacular history and describe the effect of climate change on this breathtaking landscape. The Icefjord Centre is designed as a dynamic and interactive meeting place for local residents, companies, climate researchers, climate debaters and tourists. The Centre will house exhibitions, a movie theatre, cafe and shop as well as research and educational facilities.
The shape of the building is twisted like a bird’s wing, across this exceptional landscape. The roof provides a natural extension of the area’s hiking routes, leading visitors onto one of the absolute best look-out spots over the frozen fjord and the surrounding landscape.
The structure of the building consists of over 50 individually designed steel frames, each of which weighs some eight tons.
But the arctic climate in Greenland complicates the building process.
”One of the primary challenges with this construction is the melting of the permafrost as a result of the ever-increasing temperatures in the area. These circumstances force us to drill the foundation very deeply. For example, we have drilled down as much as seven and eight meters into the mountain,” explains Jan Nielsen, Ramboll’s Structural Architect on the project.
Logistics can also be a challenge
”When you work with construction in Greenland, you always need to think one step ahead. The building materials are imported, so they get transported up here by ship every half year, and the arctic climate makes it necessary to halt construction during the coldest months,” reports Jan Nielsen.
Climate changes are clearly seen and felt in Greenland. Global warming causes the inland ice sheets and the ice cap around the Arctic to melt, which alters the landscape and the life conditions in this harsh environment. This visionary centre will provide a framework for knowledge-sharing and the debate about the local and global consequences of climate change.
The Icefjord Centre is expected to be completed in the summer 2021.
Realdania and the Government of Greenland (Naalakkersuisoq) and the Avanaata Municipality are contributors to the project. The centre’s exhibition space is funded by the Nordea Foundation, the Augustinus Foundation, the Bloomberg Philanthropies and the OAK Foundation.