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Inuvik, NT


The Inuvik pool successfully combines innovative technology with playful design. Canada’s only year- round aquatic center in the Arctic, the Inuvik pool offers light, colour and warmth; a tropical respite. The faculty sites on 5 meters of ice and peat (permafrost). To prevent the permafrost from melting, a lattice of piping (a thermosyphon) filled with compressed carbon dioxide was laid underneath the building. It intercepts heat from the 30 degrees C water in the swimming pool, which is then radiated to the atmosphere. The walls and roof were designed to perform well in 100 degree C difference between the outside and inside temperatures; the same difference between ice and steam. The center takes its cue from the natural landscape to create an interior aquatic world. Interior environments can present landscapes we once associated only with the outdoors, but new technology now permits the dissolution of the traditional boundaries of inside and out.

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