Danish architecture firm wins contract to design Nunavut Inuit Heritage Centre
Jury selecting the proposal included Commissioner Eva Aariak and elder Piita Irniq
A Danish architecture firm won the design contract for the Nunavut Inuit Heritage Centre, according to a recent news release from the Inuit Heritage Trust.
Dorte Mandrup Architects, which led the proposal, was awarded the contract for the centre which will be built in Iqaluit and is meant “to honour the Government of Canada’s commitment to the Nunavut Agreement and Bill C-15, the UNDRIP Act.”
Seven other organizations are part of the proposal and include Polar Outfitting as the Inuit consulting firm and Arctic UAV & Panaq Design for model building.
A jury voted for the winning proposal in Ottawa on May 29. It included the territory’s commissioner Eva Aariak and elder Piita Irniq.
“We have waited many years for this opportunity and have never been this close to realizing our dream,” Inuit Heritage Trust executive director William Beveridge said in the release.
He said the centre will help bring back “items made by our ancestors” that are currently stored in southern facilities.
“With few opportunities for Inuit to engage with these items, we continue to be disconnected from this important part of our cultural heritage,” Beveridge said.
“But there is growing momentum for an Inuit-owned and operated facility.”
The 55,000-square-foot facility will provide a venue for exhibitions, performances, workshops and other programming.
Jury members chose the proposal by Dorte Mandrup Architects in particular because of its emphasis on the surrounding landscape, the idea of a living green roof, and a structure that will have a limited carbon footprint.
“Jury members felt that Mandrup heard and understood community perspectives regarding Inuit traditional knowledge and the healing potential for the NIHC,” the release said.
“They appreciated the reference to Inuit wayfinding and integration into the landscape.”
The Nunavut Inuit Heritage Centre project has been spearheaded by the Inuit Heritage Trust. Members from the trust, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., Qikiqtani Inuit Association, Kitikmeot Inuit Association and Kivalliq Inuit Association are part of a steering committee overseeing the project.
Both NTI and QIA have committed $5 million each for the initiative so far.