Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter have been selected as the winners of an international competition to design The Icefjord Centre in the UNESCO-protected area of Ilulissat, Greenland. Beating out proposals from leading architects including Snøhetta, Studio Other Spaces, Rintala Eggertsson Architects and Kengo Kuma and Associates, the new pavilion will serve as an exhibition and gathering space for locals, tourists and researchers alike.
Selected by the jury for its “poetic, simple and visionary design,” the building takes the form of a giant wooden truss, allowing the structure to float delicately above the rugged landscape of the Sermermiut Valley. The framework is clad in wooden decking and twists to touch the ground on either end, providing access to the viewing platform on the pavilion’s roof. As the new starting point for the Ilulissat Icefjord World Heritage Trail, the roof deck will also contain gathering and informal seating areas.
Inside the building, a large exhibition area dedicated to telling the story of ice and human history will be located in the apex of the curving plan. Additional interior spaces will include a café and gift shop adjacent to the exhibition space, and research facilities, offices and support spaces along the wings. In section, the rotating geometry of the structure focuses views out to the glacier and surrounding landscape.
The project comes following the Icefjord’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 and will be realized in partnership between the Government of Greenland, Qaasuitsup Kommunia and the Danish philanthropic organization, Realdania. The pavilion is scheduled to open autumn 2020.
Edit: This article has been updated to include that Studio Other Spaces was also a finalist in the competition.