Building Magazine


Exhibition on Nunavut will represent Canada at Venice Biennale

The Canada Council for the Arts and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) announced that “Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15” has been selected through a national juried competition to represent Canada at the 2014 Venice Biennale in Architecture. The exhibition will be organized and curated by Lateral Office of Toronto, which has been pursuing research and design work on the role of architecture in the Arctic for the past five years.

As Nunavut celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2014, “Arctic Adaptations” will present innovative architecture proposals rooted in Nunavut’s distinct land, climate and culture, reflecting local traditions of migration, mobility and seasonality. It will also explore how, in light of dramatic environmental, social and economic forces that are transforming the Arctic today, architecture might help nurture robust, prosperous and vibrant Northern communities.

“This is the first time that we are sending an exhibition about Canada’s North to the Venice Biennale in Architecture,” said Robert Sirman, director and CEO of the Canada Council. “Given the rise in national and international interest in the Arctic, this is a timely exhibition. ‘Arctic Adaptations’ will bring attention and insight to the unique challenges and opportunities that Nunavut is facing, and the possibility for architecture to positively impact its future.”

Five design teams will work in collaboration with five Nunavut-based organizations. Each team will be made up of a Canadian school of architecture and a Canadian architecture office with extensive experience working in the North. They will create proposals that respond to regional as well as local realities, including climate change, resource extraction and a young and rapidly growing population. A proposal will be developed on each of the five following themes: Health, Education, Housing, Recreation and Arts.

The themes will be explored through architectural models, videos, interviews, photographs, maps, animations and soundscapes within an immersive environment that evokes the unique landscapes and architecture of Nunavut. The exhibition will tell emblematic stories of Nunavut today and in the future, through architecture.

A broadly accessible publication will accompany “Arctic Adaptations.” The exhibition will embark on an extensive Canadian tour after it returns from Venice.

“Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15” was chosen by an independent peer assessment committee selected by the Canada Council for the Arts, which was comprised of Amale Andraos (Principal, WorkAC, New York, USA), Elisabetta Terragni (Principal, Terragni Architetti, Como, Italy), and Charles Walker (Head of Architecture, Royal College of Art, London, UK).

“Arctic Adaptations” Collaborators

       Nunavut-based Organizations: Ilisaqsivik, Nunavut Housing Corporation, Nunavut Sport and Recreation, Qaggiavuut!, and Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre.

       Architects: Fournier Gersovitz Moss Drolet Architectes Associés (Montreal), Kobayashi + Zedda Architects (Whitehorse), Lateral Office (Toronto), Pin/Taylor Architects (Yellowknife), and Stantec (Iqaluit);

       Architecture Schools: Dalhousie University, Université de Montréal, University of British Columbia, University of Manitoba, and University of Toronto.


“Arctic Adaptations” Advisory Council (to date)

       The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson

       Kirt Ejesiak

       Peter Harrison

       Bruce Kuwabara

       Shelagh Rogers

       John Ralston Saul

       Brigitte Shim

       Hunter F. Tura


“Arctic Adaptations” Sponsors, Partners, and Supporters (to date)

       Canada Council for the Arts

       Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)

       Green Seed Development Corporation

       Urban Capital Property Group

       KPMB Architects

       Bruce Mau Design, Inc.

       AZURE Magazine

       Canadian Architect Magazine

       Kriss Communications

Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *