New Plans Revealed For Long Awaited Inuit Cultural Heritage Centre In Canada
NEW PLANS REVEALED FOR LONG AWAITED INUIT CULTURAL HERITAGE CENTRE IN CANADA
The 1993 Nunavut Sub-Accord granted vast tracts of land to the Inuit in Canada's largest Aboriginal land claim settlement. After 30 years, a heritage centre celebrating Inuit culture is finally taking shape. Accords have always called for the construction of a cultural heritage centre, but this important site for preserving crafts and traditions is now finally moving forward. In an exciting development, Danish architectural firm Dorte Mandrup has won an international competition to design the centre. The company was chosen for its ability to draw inspiration from Inuit culture and natural surroundings. In fact, the design is reminiscent of how a snowdrift is shaped by the wind.
Called 'kartkanik' in Inuit, these stunning patterns have long been a natural signpost system for the indigenous peoples of the region. Incorporating this concept into the design, Dortehis Mandrap pays homage to the Inuit while creating a structure that blends effortlessly into its surroundings.
This Heritage Center will be built north of Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut. According to an official statement, the facility will "increase awareness of Inuit culture, promote cultural healing and reconciliation between Inuit and non-Inuit by providing a place for Inuit to reconnect with their collectives through objects, stories and activities." It aims to support
“Working in these conditions requires extreme sensitivity and sensitivity to the landscape and its cultural significance,” explains the company's founder and creative director Dorte Mandrup. “The community has worked tirelessly for a long time to create a place where the Inuit can collect their precious heritage and pass on their unique and essential yet endangered expertise to future generations. We are very much looking forward to listening, learning and being the link between thought and form.”
In addition to promoting local heritage, the center is expected to foster a network of heritage centers throughout Nunavut to reconnect the Inuit with their heritage. This is especially important as many Inuit artifacts were long stored in southern Canada until a suitable center was established in Nunavut. The establishment of the Inuit Heritage Center will be a kind of homecoming for these items, giving new generations the opportunity to reconnect with their roots.
Dorte Mandrup's design provides ample space for displaying these materials, thanks to the lawn and stone covered roof. This allows the centre to blend seamlessly with its surroundings and utilise the protective stone as a natural shelter for the delicate collections and exhibits beneath. The rooftop also provides a gathering place for visitors to enjoy unobstructed views of the vast tundra.
As a community gathering place, the Inuit Cultural Heritage Center includes more than just exhibition space. There will also be a café, workshop area, conservation lab, shop, daycare, dormitories and offices. Additionally, a large outdoor area provides space for traditional practices such as carving, kayaking, tool making and berry picking. Due to be completed in 2027, the Inuit Cultural Heritage Center will have a profound impact on Nunavut.