Culture / Design

Icefjord Centre: Climate Change Observation Deck

Design and climate change come together in a structure in Greenland for both scientists and the public.

Jul 05, 2016 | By Vimi Haridasan

The UNESCO world Heritage site Sermermiut Valley will soon host the Icefjord Centre. The space, which is set to be created on the edge of the valley, is designed by Danish architectural firm Dorte Mandrup.

The center will be used for research, exhibitions and as a location for locals and foreigners to discuss environmental issues such as climate change. Providing a breath-taking view of the Ilulissat, Icefjord’s 250,000 year-old Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, the design was chosen over five other entries. Those in the running included world-renowned architects Snøhetta, Olafur Eliasson and Kengo Kuma and Associates.

Shaped like a boomerang, the wooden frame curves around the rugged landscape with the roof of the structure acting as a bridge, viewing platform and seating area for guests. The multi-functional roof also acts as the entrance to the World Heritage Trail. Fitted with large glass panels, the center’s harmonious relationship with the surroundings offer guests a chance to witness the “constantly changing view that enhances the experience of the landscape by framing the fantastic viewpoints.”

Another use for the center, perhaps the most important one at that, is to provide scientists a space to research the Earth’s climate via the glacier. As the Greenland ice sheet is currently the second-largest body of ice in the world, the location of the Icefjord Centre is ideal for studying climate change. Set to be completed in autumn 2020, the project is funded by Greenland’s government, Qaasuitsup Municipality and the Danish philanthropic organization Realdania.

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