Dorte Mandrup, a renowned architect, has been tasked with designing the new Nunavut Inuit Heritage Centre in Canada. This remarkable building takes inspiration from snowdrifts, with a design that harmonizes with the rugged landscape while providing protection against harsh weather conditions.
Located in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, the center aims to promote Inuit culture and foster reconciliation and learning between Inuit and non-Inuit communities. Constructed from a combination of steel, concrete, glue-laminated timber, and cross-laminated timber, the building will be partially embedded in rock and turf to shield it from the extreme local climate.
Drawing parallels to Dorte Mandrup’s ongoing Whale project, the structure’s overall shape reflects the patterns created by wind-driven snowdrifts—a traditional Inuit navigation tool. The design ensures that snow will flow smoothly over the roof and facade, minimizing snow buildup. Additionally, a stone railing in the circular entrance serves as a wind deflector, enhancing the building’s resilience.
The Nunavut Inuit Heritage Centre will be an architectural marvel that melds with its surroundings, pays homage to Inuit traditions, and serves as a hub for cultural awareness and education.