Icefjord Centre completed in Greenland

15 September 2021
Credit: Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
  • Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
  • Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
  • Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
  • Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter




Dorte Mandrup creates ambitious building in one of world's harshest climates

The Icefjord Centre has been completed next to the massive glacier, Sermeq Kujalleq, on the western coast of Greenland. For more than 250 years, glaciologists have studied the ancient glacier and its daily production of immense amounts of ice, and it remains an ideal spot for scientific observation of climate change. The centre will tell a story of ice, human history and evolution on both a local and global scale.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place in the summer of 2019, with inclining windowpanes and 52 unique steel frames rising above an inland lake. Tenderstream member Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter designed the new centre in Ilulissat to blend in with the impressive landscape, while offering local residents, tourists, and climate researchers the ultimate vantage point from which to absorb the historic atmosphere of the Icefjord.  

Part of the underlying philosophy for the Icefjord Centre was that it should affect the area as little as possible, while at the same time encouraging connections between the exhibition and the environment — between humans and nature. The shape of the building is inspired by the wingspan of the snowy owl in flight through the landscape. Positioned as a natural extension of the walking routes through the UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is possible for visitors to walk on the centre roof and enjoy the surrounding views. 

Dorte Mandrup stated: "The Icefjord Centre is creating a frame for human life, a bridge between civilization and nature in one of the worlds harshest, most unforgiving climates. We insist on clients that share our ambition and courage - in the end, the extraordinary requires nerve. A front-row seat on the spectacle of ice.”

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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