Architecture – The Qaammat pavilion by Konstantin Ikonomidis offers breathtaking views over two fjords by Sarfannguit, just above the Arctic Circle in Greenland. Sarfannguit was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2018, and, in 2019, UNESCO commissioned Ikonomidis the permanent structure serving as a landmark, a gathering point and a dissemination site.
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“The Qaammat pavilion is designed as a poetic and aesthetic object, but most importantly as a symbolic gesture.” Explains Konstantin Ikonomidis, a Swedish architect of Greek origins. “It acknowledges the natural site and rich history, the distinctiveness of our culture and the spiritual sensibilities rooted in Sarfannguit.”
One of the more distinctive features of the structure is its glass shell conceived like a metaphysical shelter celebrating the Inuit community’s connection with the local landscape. A subtle play of transparencies, scale, and weight results in a feeling of surreality. “The Qaammat pavilion can simultaneously alter the viewer’s perspective, merge, and even vanish into the surrounding topography.” Indeed, the location was selected in collaboration with the local community.
“The design draws inspiration from the moon and the Arctic light in combination with the snow’s reflections.” Following his earlier work and research on the subject of home, Konstantin Ikonomidis focused on integrating landscape, culture, and human stories into the design.
Drilled into the ground with 40-mm holes, the structure is anchored in rocky terrain like local settlements. Attached to the upper part of the metal poles is a custom-made stainless steel bracket with a circular geometry.
The metal bar is fully horizontal and the poles vary in length according to the terrain. The curving walls, constructed in glass blocks from Italy, form a linear pathway open at both ends, which serves as an entrance to the pavilion.
All photos by Julien Lanoo – Courtesy of Konstantin Ikonomidis.