CANADIAN HIGH ARCTIC RESEARCH CENTRE

Cambridge Bay, NT

Joint venture with Moriyama & Teshima Architects

2012

The Inuit worldview is to flip the map and look at the world from the pole looking south. This shift in perception is what this proposal for the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) is about. It aims to develop a new perception for the definition of “Future Canada” on the occasion of Canada’s 150 anniversary.

Building an appropriate design approach, CHARS began with a profound realization that “Listening is Important”. A deeply integrated process that prioritizes collaboration and consultation with the community in all aspects of design and delivery is crucial and was incorporated into our design process in a meaningful way. The goal was to re-evaluate the assumptions that typically inform ‘western’ design and to engage the perspective of the Inuit who have an innovative and inventive culture evolved over a millennia in one of the most challenging environments on the planet. This project is about learning from and employing this incredible tradition of the Canadian Inuit to explore the experience of light, wind, snow, the innovative use of local materials & labour, and to develop an old paradigm of what a northern community can be in this modern age.