The Arctic Adaptations creative team is led by Lateral Office. The firm was founded in 2003 as an experimental design practice that operates at the intersection of architecture, landscape, and urbanism. Lateral Office believes that the role of the architect is not simply to be a problem solver or designer, but to act as a cultural, environmental, and spatial detective, bringing to light new opportunities and synergies, and seeking out new roles for architecture.
Lateral Office has been pursuing research and design work on the role of architecture in the Arctic since 2007. Recognizing that the challenges for Arctic inhabitation extend beyond merely more infrastructure or new technologies, Lateral Office’s work in the North tests the potential for architecture and infrastructure to be adaptable, multi-purpose, and responsive to the region’s present-day dynamism, along with its unique geography, climate, and cultures.
Lateral Office has been recognized with numerous awards for their work in the Arctic, including the inaugural Arctic Inspiration Prize (2012), a Progressive Architecture Award (2013), the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction Gold Award for North America (2012), an Emerging Voices award from the Architectural League of New York (2011), and the Canada Council for the Arts Professional Prix de Rome (2010).
Arctic Adaptations exhibits three parallel projects observing: a 100-year past, a present, and a 15-year future. The 100-year past team developed soapstone carvings of significant and iconic works of architecture. The 15-year past team developed terrain models and original photographs of each of the 25 new arctic cities in Nunavut. The 15-year future team is comprised of 15 organizations. Working in collaboration with five Nunavut-based organizations, design teams – comprised of a Canadian architecture office and a Canadian school of architecture – will develop a 15-year vision plan for both a regional (territory) and architectural (building) scale on a particular theme. The themes are: Arts, Education, Health, Housing, and Recreation. 15 architectural models with integrated animations were developed to project an adaptive arctic modernism.
Arctic Adaptations Creative Team
Carving artsists, photographers and several organizations based in Nunavut assisted in the conceptual direction and realization of original soapstone carvings, photography, and CNC milled terrain models. for the 15-year future projects, the five Nunavut organizations provide grounded knowledge on current challenges and opportunities territory-wide within their theme. The five architecture firms leading the design teams all have extensive experience working and thinking about what it means to build in Canada’s North. The five schools of architecture hosted a design competition on one of the five themes. They also offered academic and public programming related to architecture in Canada’s North.
Qaggiavuut Society, Iqaluit
Dalhousie University, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Halifax
Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre, Iqaluit
Pin/Taylor Architects, Yellowknife
University of British Columbia, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Vancouver
Nunavut Housing Corporation, Iqaluit
Lateral Office, Toronto
University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, Toronto
NU ARCHITECTURE CARVINGS
Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association, Iqaluit
Nunavut Development Corporation, Rankin Inlet
John McKinnon, advisor
Nick Illauq, photography advisor, Clyde River
Andre Akana Otokiak
Andrea Ann Carter
Jimmy A Qaapik
Bruce H Haulli
Conor Sampson – CS Design
The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson
John Ralson Saul