The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation Institute of Architecture and Technology
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Introduction page 5 / 2015: The Arctic page 11 / Investigation page 19 / Engaging with the Site page 39 / Architectural Projects page 121 / Reflections & Observations page 183 / Staff & Acknowledgements page 190 / Credits page 192
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Architecture and Extreme Environments This Master program pursues a sitespecific exploration of architecture defined in response to present and future global challenges. Through an immersive and iterative process of â€˜research by designâ€™, students are led by a methodology of experimentation, prototyping and direct site involvement in the form of active expeditions to locations across the globe. The unit works in close collaboration with local communities, institutions, practices, manufacturers, researchers and experts in the field to promote innovation through technology and develop an enriched formal and spatial vocabulary within the built environment. Travelling to locations with challenging environments - from natural extremes of sweltering heat or numbing cold, towards the manmade effects of pollution or chemical disaster - students are immersed within unique conditions where an acute awareness of context is vital and previously unquestioned norms no longer hold precedent.
Architecture & Extreme Environments is a two year Master program that promotes the study of architecture as a critical lens to inspect contemporary global issues and to expand spatial richness informed by culture, technology and the environment.
Extreme Environments in Natural, Urban and Rural Territories around the World Top Left Volcano Caldera Blanca, Lanzarote, Canary Islands Top Right Skyscraper in Hong Kong Bottom Left Ksar Ouled Soltane, Tataouine, Tunisia Bottom Right Pripyat, Chernobyl, Ukraine
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Course Structure The course is structured by an initial engaged knowledge base and mode of working investigation phase and intensive fieldwork that can be applied to many contemporary expedition to a case study region during the first contexts, both at home and abroad. semester. This is explored through the design and manufacture of one-to-one prototypes, which are transported, deployed and tested within the territory in question. These constructs act as hyper-specific survey devices and experimental testing tools to observe, measure and interact with the complex environment at hand. The expedition provides a direct platform to collaborate with local communities and experts, where students investigate a spatial problematic and develop an architectural program. Through a synthesis of research and artistic proposition, the programs are developed into detailed architectural projects during the second semester. Throughout the course, students engage with hyper-specific design, critical thinking and research methodologies informed by local and global issues, which leads to a critically
Extreme Environments in both Natural and Urban Contexts around the World Top Left Ilulissat, Greenland Top Right Mumbai, India Bottom Left Fukushima, Japan Bottom Right Boron, Mojave Desert, USA
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The Arctic: Iceland & Svalbard Defined by the latitudinal line that encircles the 66°33’ North, the Arctic is a contested context in constant flux. The region is composed of a rapidly changing environment, where the impacts of climate change, globalisation and demands for natural resources are radically transforming the natural landscape and redefining its political condition. The Polar North is a territory out of balance, and the course promotes critical enquiry and speculation upon this zone of escalating global relevance. Iceland and Svalbard are two distinctly ‘Arctic’ territories specifically chosen in their capacity to juxtapose the vast differences within this cultural, political and environmental context.
Iceland Iceland is perched at the periphery of the Arctic Circle, floating atop two divergent tectonic plates. A hotbed of geological activity, the country is a patchwork of desert, glaciers, geysers, lava fields and active volcanoes. Emerging out of complete economic collapse following the world financial crisis, Iceland is faced with the need for innovative use of resources and is threatened by a future that is increasingly shaped by energy, resource and tourism industries.
Svalbard A frozen glacial archipelago, Svalbard’s capital, Longyearbyen, is a Norwegian outpost and a geopolitical battleground peppered with coalmines, isolated settlements and scientific research stations. A free economic and demilitarised zone, this new frontier is becoming a growing tourist destination and political focal point for trade, research and resource exploration. Venturing into storms, sub-zero temperatures and endless winter nights in the Arctic region, the course promotes discovery of the dynamic relationship between architecture, culture, economy, geopolitics and ecology. The course engages in relevant and critical discussion on the role of architecture as a vehicle to explore present and future social, environmental and political issues of the Arctic and the built environment.
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THE NORTH POLE
Map of The Arctic Image depicts the Arctic Circle and the North Pole in relation to Iceland and Svalbard, study sites of 2015
Left Aurora, the Northern Lights in Iceland - a unique light condition in the sky seen from Arctic and Antarctic regions. Top Melting Icebergs of Jรถkulsarlon Ice Lagoon in Iceland
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 14 - 15 EISCAT Svalbard Radar (ESC) in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway - a research center using scatter radar techniques to study lower, middle and upper atmosphere and ionosphere.
Located on the volcanic beach of Vestrahorn, Iceland, is a 454m mountain composed of unique geological conditions.
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Context & Information Gathering The initial investigation into Iceland and Svalbard follows an analytical approach, aimed to unpack a series of themes relevant to present and future issues surrounding the Arctic - climate, geography, fauna and flora, energy, resources, pollution, culture, urbanism, migration, demographics, tourism, technology, trade and industry. Through group work and direct contact with industry experts and local communities within their field of study, students gathered information on the Arctic regions in question. The findings are processed and mediated through the form of infographic posters, establishing visual clarity and hierarchy for an approachable and engaging representation of complex issues. These infographic posters form an archive of filtered information and groundwork that students can continuously refer back to throughout the semester. Through a dialogue of group discussion, lectures and workshops, students
gain critical understanding of infrastructural, political and commercial relevance of Iceland and Svalbard within a global context.
Field of Interest During this Investigation phase, students begin to zoom in on certain areas of interest. From exploring the geothermal district heating of Reykjavik or the coal mining industry of Longyearbyen, to investigating soil erosion and degradation along the South coast of Iceland, students develop their own critique and understanding of how these issues are reflected and challenged in the present context of the Arctic. Alongside reviews and critical discussions, students define an individual field of interest and speculate upon architectural potentials in the Arctic through, for example; biomimicry, material innovation and landscape strategies that challenge the role of architecture in the built environment.
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Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 22 - 23 Gabriele, Marius and Alex investigated Trade, Industry & Local Technology in Iceland revealing that almost all building materials are imported, which led students to explore local, sustainable and renewable alternatives to building in Iceland.
Grace, Nicole and Linda investigated Energy, Resources & Pollution in Iceland exploring how geothermal energy has shaped the infrastructural development of the country which led to Nicoleâ€™s investigation into Reykjavikâ€™s district heating and as a city defined by thermal thresholds.
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Axel, Kine, Katerina and Morten investigated History, Migration, Urbanism & Culture - revealing interesting local traditions in Iceland such as baking bread in the ground using heat from natural geological phenomena. This led to Kineâ€™s exploration of a landscape kitchen, a critique on modern rituals of hermetic living in the built environment.
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Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 30 - 31 Julien and Kristine explored Climate, Flora & Fauna in Svalbard. This led to Kristine’s investigation of light conditions and the lunar cycle, as a basis to her device ‘Exploiting Existing Light of the Polar Night’
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Sara and Astrid investigated Energy, Resources & Pollution. Sara focused on the hierarchical shift of power within Svalbard’s chief industries - from energy production toward scientific research. This led to her investigation of EISCAT, and the development of her architectural project ‘Stellar Lab.Orbit.Ory’, a research center and observatory.
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Robert, Stine and Anders investigated History, Urbanism, Demography & Tourism. Robert zoomed in on Svalbard’s historical reliance on the coal mining industry which led to the development of his architectural project ‘Gin.troverted Autonomy’ - using thermal differentials as a renewable alternative resource to coal.
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g with the Site
Introduction: “Hyper-specificity” Following a defined field of interest during the Investigation phase, students contextualise and challenge their explorations through three modes of site engagement - Design & Manufacture, Fieldwork and Brief Definition. Through a ‘hyper-specific’ methodology, each mode engages with a different aspect and scale of the site in question, forming a rich agenda mediating between theory and practice.
Modes of Engagement The Design & Manufacture phase focuses on one-to-one interactions with the immediate context. A performance oriented exploration, the process challenges innovative design skills and previous formal understandings of material and technology in architecture. The Fieldwork phase is concerned with surveying and charting the environment through both the constructed device and personal experiences with local communities. Alongside newly gathered information from the expedition, students test design hypotheses directly in the
field, and localise their field of study to define an architectural brief. During the Brief Definition phase, students discover relevant study sites, visit local archives and experts in the industry to compose an architectural framework and program for the subsequent semester.
The Notion of Site
This chapter is fundamental to the unit’s agenda and methodology. From very early in the semester, students are introduced to the notion of site, in scales both macro and micro, as the overriding theme in all areas of investigation. As opposed to developing a theoretical or speculative reading of site from a distance, students are challenged to confront the site directly and physically prior to developing any form of program or architectural allusion. Through this rigorous methodology, students are equipped to formulate an informed architectural thesis and proposition.
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Marius extracting soil in the south coast of Iceland into his ‘Soil Incubator’ device as he breathes in CO2 as an experiment to cultivate soil. This led to the development of his thesis project ‘The Cultivated Archive’. Through collaboration with The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, he developed a series of landscape strategies to reclaim and cultivate degraded land in Iceland.
Engaging through Design & Manufacture Prior to the unit’s departure to Iceland and Svalbard, students construct devices to chart specific conditions related to a chosen field of interest. Drawing inspiration from science and technology, students devise new insulation systems, facades and materials to test their investigation on-site. The design process is divided into two stages. An initial experiment driven phase aims to test scientific, technological, and material performance. This is followed by the design of one-to-one constructions devised to meet the demands of travel, whilst investigating visual and spatial implications of the device. Each device has its own budget and manufacture timeline, created in collaboration with academic consultants, researchers and industry manufacturers. This aspect is a crucial activity that ties the project to professional practice and traditional building methodologies.
Performance Oriented Experimentation
From growing plants with CO 2 or generating electricity through saltwater, the studio transformed into a laboratory to test experiments. A critical aspect during this stage is to simulate various ‘Arctic’ conditions within the studio, in an aim to achieve a more precise result. This involved the use of a large-scale freezer for use in ice experiments, boiling water to test humidity and steam impact or using a fan to generate wind. Design & Manufacture Constructing the final prototype is a design challenge in itself, as limitations in transportation become increasingly inevitable. For Iceland, a lightweight and easy-to-assemble device proved vital, due to the expedition’s fastpaced itinerary. Whereas for the expedition to Svalbard, light and visibility of the devices were the main concerns. Through the use of adaptable structures, modular systems and ergonomics, the physical construct of each design begins to define itself.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 42 - 43 Students working in the studio of Architecture & Extreme Environments
In this preliminary device test for the ‘Soil Incubator’, Marius investigates how the use of carbon dioxide can enhance seed germination.
In preparation for the ‘Light Harvester’ device, Øyvind tests the changing properties of different liquids, such as ethanol and saltwater, when exposed to freezing temperatures for an extended period of time.
Left Robert and Stine test the thermoelectric capabiities of the Peltier tile.
Right An aluminum conductor is immersed within a block of ice, replicating the average -20째C temperature of Svalbard during polar night.
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The results uncover an unexpected sensitivity to haptic stimulation. While the tiles generate enough energy from body temperature to light a small LED, they similiarly act as a thermal bridge - raising questions of thermal comfort during sustained periods of corporeal energy generation.
Left An initial prototype for Julien’s saltwater battery device ‘Icescapes & Latent Energy’, testing materials and methods of saltwater circulation Right Alexandra experiments with electrolysis to explore electronically aided growth of minerals in geothermal pools, found in the device ‘Mineral Accretion’
Studio Desks In the lead up to the field expeditions, the studio becomes a hub of activity. In the design and construction of the one-to-one prototypes, students participate in an shared dialogue of making.
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Nicole explores the use of collapsable and foldable structures for her thermally activated ‘Wax Pistons’ device.
Gabriele designs his portable shelter, ‘Upcycled Insulation’, in proportion to his body, with the use of aluminium tubes as the structural framework. Shredded plastic, accumulated during the manufacture stage of the device, is reused and tested as the insulation material for the shelter.
Robert similarly explores use of aluminium tubes and joints in construction of his chair device ‘Differential Enclosure’. This elaborate metal joint system proved to be a crucial detail to ensure an uninhibited exposure of the Peltier tiles to both the body and the Arctic temperature.
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Left Katerina explores use of a deployable and expandable sissor structure to test within her device, ‘Weaving Insulation’ Right Øyvind tests construction of his ‘Light Harvester’ device, which explores the collection and focus of moonlight in Longyearbyen through an orbital system of layered, adjustable lenses filled with a mixture of salt and water.
Fieldwork in Iceland December 2014 During the winter of 2014, 12 thesis students, 4 tutors with 3 four-wheel drives, embarked on a 17-day expedition around the coast of Iceland. The team ventured through a hurricane, sub-zero temperatures, a snowstorm and a palette of Icelandic landscapes. Beginning the journey at Reykjavik, the unit travelled anticlockwise along the Ring Road, stopping at various locations to test their prototypes onsite, in the immediate context. Be it a humid, steaming landscape of Hveragerði , or Vík’s black sand beach or the freezing glacial lagoon of Jökulsárlón, the students charted their device’s performance in response to the environment.
Prototype Thematics The individual devices can be categorized into three themes, each critically exploring a different aspect of Iceland’s architectural potential. These include: • Geothermal Energy, Heat and Body • Land and Resources • Microclimates and Weather Conditions
The prototypes operate within these frameworks, challenging current issues of architectural performance, sustainability and resilience, whilst exploring new forms of spatial language in the built environment. From floating foundations to seaweed facades, these devices test new ways in which architecture interacts with the environment on a one-to-one scale.
Localised Investigations The expedition presented a unique to engage with both the natural surroundings and local communities, experts and industries. Through visits to the Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant, ALCOA Aluminium Smelter, Soil Conservation Service, Víkurprjón Wool Factory and Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant, the students gained insight into the harsh realities of architectural impact. Alongside these charted territories, the students formulated localised investigations towards a critical understanding of Iceland’s urban, rural and territorial conditions, which is further developed into an architectural brief.
KRAFL A Day 13: Geothermal Powerstation
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AKUREYRI Day 14
HVAMMSTANGI Day 15: Blizzard
NAMAFJALL Day 13: Camp out in Snowstorm
NORTH ROUTE Day 13: D.Garcia , G. Gualdi & M.Costan
REYKJAHÓL AR Day 16 Norður Salt & Algae Factory
DAM Day 13: Group Splits
K ÁRAHNJÚK AR Day 13 Hydropower Plant HVANNEYRI Day 16 Agricultural University
REYKJAVIK Day 1: Eastbound
GEYSIR Day 3
Day 17: Return to K ADK
REYÐARFJÖRÐUR Day 12 ALCOA smelter
ICE PL ATEAU Day 3 GULLFOSS Day 4
HÖFN Day 10 Group Splits
SOIL RECL AMATION SERVICE Day 4 HELLISHEIÐI Day 2: Geothermal Powerplant
JÖKULSÁRLÓN HVERAGERÐI Day 2: First Device Test
Day 8: Third Device Test
VIK Day 5 - 7: Second Device Test
Map of route, destinations and events around the coast of Iceland
Left Page A collage of destinations visited on the expedition, showcasing the wide spectrum and palette of Icelandic landscapes. Ice Plateau - students wander in the vast landscape of infinite snow in Iceland
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Hveragerði, Iceland - students search for a site to deploy their device in the steaming hills of Hveragerði. One must be careful not to accidentally step into bubbling pots of boiling mud and water between 100°C to 250°C!
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Left S贸lheimasandur, Iceland students search for the DC-3 plane wreckage on the surreal, Mars-like landscape of the black sand beach. Right Seljavellir, Iceland - the Iceland team stops for lunch in the snow before embarking on a 10-minute hike up towards Seljavallalaug for a jump in the 25m outdoor swimming pool sourced from natural hot springs.
Iceland: Geothermal Energy, Heat & Body Geothermal energy plays a significant role in Iceland’s social, cultural and industrial context. 90% of homes in Iceland are heated through geothermal energy and it accounts for 66% of the primary energy. From Kine’s landscape kitchen and Nicole’s thermal mechanisms to Alex’s industrial experiment of geothermally grown components, each project in this theme challenges a different scale and role of geothermal energy in the built environment. The main territories relevant to this theme are located on the Reykjanes Ridge - where volcanoes and geysers compose a variety of steaming landscapes with ground temperatures ranging from 100°C to 250°C. The by-product of this unique phenomenon is reflected in different conditions found in Hveragerði (bubbling mud pools), the Blue Lagoon (silica and minerals) and Reykjavik (public underground heating). From powering the city to providing leisure and relaxation, students explore the wide spectrum and scale of engagement through their unique constructs.
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Kine Fagerheim Culinary Processes & Landscape Potentials This device is an open kitchen composed of a series of elements that unfold into the landscape. The device explores the potential of culinary processes created through the natural environment, utilising its immediate surrounding. The first device test is curated within the bubbling geothermal hills of Hveragerði. The device is used to explore the tactile process and local ritual of baking bread in the ground. The series of channels branch out in search for water, guiding the fluid through the hot earth where it joins flour, grains and blueberries into dough. Buried in the earth overnight, the bread bakes at a temperature of 90°C. Working with the unique phenomena of Iceland’s geology, the culinary experience generates an awareness of resource and pace. The device challenges our modern interpretation of ‘kitchen’, of convenience and order, towards an interactive, site-specific experience reliant on natural resources within reach from the environment in question.
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Nicole Strelcheva Wax Pistons The Wax Pistons are a collection of mechanical elements that test and spatialise differing thermal conditions, with an aim to propose thermal diversity as an integrated exploration of architectural design. Traditionally, wax pistons are used for auto-ventilation in greenhouses as a way to convert thermal energy into a mechanical movement of opening and closing. A process triggered by registering changes in temperature in the immediate environment, the
pistons activate the spatial transformation of a series of expandable and collapsible structures. The three mechanical elements differ in structure, form and geometry. Drawing inspiration from the unique utilisation of geothermal energy in Iceland, the project investigates homogeneous vs. heterogeneous thermal environments through visualising the â€˜invisibleâ€™ thermal data perceived by our body within the environment.
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Alexandra Holman Mineral Accretion: Testing Tools for Geothermally Grown Architecture Icelandâ€™s most popular tourist destination, few are aware that the Blue Lagoon is the sedimentary result of a heavy industrial spill continuously fed by the mineral-saturated
effluent brine from the neighbouring geothermal power plant. Investigating the surface conditions found within this unique site, the device acts as a survey and testing
tool to explore controlled and accelerated growth of these mineral deposits. The devices uses an experiment of wind generated electrolysis to test the enhanced growth of
minerals atop a â€˜tileâ€™ framework immersed within the boiling pools, exploring how this waste product might be transformed into an architectural tectonic.
Iceland: Land & Resources Iceland contains harsh and rugged land conditions, where three quarters of its terrain is comprised of desert, cracked lava fields or glaciers. The country is a treeless landscape and almost one hundred percent of building materials must be imported. In response to this lack of material assets, students redefined typical building resources through innovative and spatial explorations of both natural (seaweed, carbon dioxide, soil and wool) and recycled man-made (plastic and synthetic rubber) materials. Built on a one-to-one scale, these devices act to test thermal and material performance in a range of disparate contexts, such as on the windswept shore of a glacial lake or overlooking the ridge of a muddy hillock surrounded by curious horses. How can the innovative use of resources begin to inform new methods and materials for building in Iceland? Students aim to challenge the fundamentals of vernacular architecture as a means to address the issue of sustainability through their individual prototypes.
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Linda Bjรถrling Seaweed Explorations This device explores the spatial and thermal properties of seaweed - an abundant local and sustainable material in a country distinctly lacking in material building resources. The device is structured by a layering system, utilised as a spatial mechanism in the shelter to test and measure the insulation capacity of seaweed during its drying process - from wet to a fully dried state. The frame
functions as a drying rack, draped with pockets filled with a variety of seaweed retrieved from Icelandic beaches. A performance-oriented exploration, the device also functions as an inhabitable shelter. The faint smell of the sea and the light conditions filtered through the seaweed facade generate a unique site-specific experience and spatial quality.
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Morten Falbach Pneumatic Foundations The device investigates the architectural potential to inhabit dynamic and rugged land conditions of Iceland. Through recycling large inner tubes from typical â€˜monster truckâ€™ tyres found all over Iceland, the device charts the performance
of a buoyant and adaptable foundation. Capitalising on the elasticity of the rubber material, the device was tested on a variety of uneven ground conditions including rocks, hills, mud, swamp and river. Through pumping air into the rubber
tubes, the triangular platform is able to level, re-adjust and accommodate to dynamic and shifting terrains. The device challenges the notion of permanent foundations in traditional built environments that cut and carve into the land,
to suggest a more fluid and sensitive relationship between footprint and landscape questioning our understanding between building and context, artefact and environment.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 70 - 71 Marius Costan Soil Incubator The Soil Incubator explores the potential for architecture to remedy the damaging impact of human activity through nurturing depleted land in Iceland. Due to agricultural mismanagement
and overextension of the few available natural resources since colonisation, Iceland has lost almost 70% of its vegetation and only 1% of its remaining landmass is suitable for cultivation. Disturbing this
fragile ecosystem has left the soil and earth vulnerable to the harsh climatic condition of Iceland, transforming vast swathes of its land into desert with critical carbon deficiency. The device is developed through
collaboration with The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland. By incorporating fundamental principles of horticulture shelter, light, water and CO2, the device investigates how exhaled CO2 can be utilised
to revegetate the land, transforming a byproduct of the human body into a renewable resource. This portable laboratory extracts ten soil samples around Iceland to allow seed germination to be tested
with or without the infusion of CO2. The device addresses critical issues concerning soil reclamation, suggesting a potential strategy to develop fertile soil in Iceland.
Aikaterini Efraimoglou Weaving Insulation An inhabitable timber loom, the device is a shelter used to test material and thermal performance of Icelandic wool. Wool is an essential clothing material in Iceland; its thermal properties are used to protect the body from harsh arctic
winds and extreme climatic conditions. The device explores wool as a potential material in architecture, challenging Iceland’s lack of building resources. The wooden structure is comprised of three different types of triangular
profiles. Based on a scissorinspired design, the deployable structure is able to control its spatial transformation to suit the natural condition of the site in question - from a tall and narrow frame (for rainy conditions) to a wide and open
space (for clear and sunny weather). Alongside visits to the Víkurprjón Wool Factory, the device utilises different weaving patterns and yarn types to explore wool’s thermal and spatial potential in architectural design.
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Gabriele Gualdi Upcycled Insulation This portable shelter confronts the issue of tourism and waste in Iceland with an aim to investigate the notion of comfort levels in extreme climatic conditions. Capitalising on deserted plastic littered across tourist sites in Iceland, the device seeks the potential to
upcycle this artificial material, transforming a byproduct of human impact to an architectural building resource. The structure is composed of lightweight aluminum tubes connected by customised joints covered with two layers of membrane - waterproofing
and insulation. The waterproof layer is stitched with nylon fabric and silicon. The insulation layer is a system of PVC and mylar-lined pillows filled with shredded plastic (recycled from the production phase of the device). Measured in proportion to the human body and using
the bodyâ€™s radiant heat as the primary energy source, the deviceâ€™s performance is tested in all conditions around the coast of Iceland - from torrential rain to blizzarding snow, noting significant climate differentials between inside and out.
Iceland: Microclimates & Geologies Iceland’s geological composition of glaciers, geysers, volcanoes and ice lagoons form a series of polarising microclimates across its landscape. The island fluctuates between extreme temperatures of hot and cold, atmospheres of dry and humid and extreme wind conditions, which can all be experienced within a single day’s drive. The instantaneous shift of weather conditions has significant impact on the design of the built environment and provides a unique opportunity to develop spatial and architectural alternatives to further explore these phenomena. From Axel’s registration of wind resistance in different material surfaces and contexts, to Anita’s modular steam catcher and Grace’s adaptable tea house, these devices explore climate and wind as a spatial parameter, working with fluid inputs in development of material constructs that respond and adapt to a changing environment. Students explore different scales of visible and architectonic interpretations through the design of adaptable structures.
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Grace Chen Pinecone Teahouse: Conditioning Humidity between Climates The Pinecone Teahouse explores the relationship between climate and space through Iceland’s unique geological phenomena. The inhabitable device registers changes in humidity levels through its immediate surrounding from both the
climate and the human body, activating material properties inherent in the veneer facades. A site-specific experience, the teahouse spatialises an awareness of context and movement, through the act and ritual of boiling tea. The device was tested in three climatically
different landscapes along the south coast of Iceland - the steaming hills of Hveragerði (mild and humid), Black Sand Beach in Vik (cold and wet) and the Jökulsárlón Ice Lagoon (cold and dry). Drawing inspiration from humidity responsive structures such as
the pinecone, the veneer tiles curl inwards and outwards to form enclosure or openings. Beyond charting the immediate context, the device challenges the potential for architecture to engage with the environment from a dynamic and hyperspecific methodology.
Anita Bonde Eriksen Architectonics of Steam & Light This device investigates the architectural potential to utilise steam in the design of the built environment - through its ability to transform and diffuse light to create atmospheric and spatial tectonics. Iceland’s geology of geysers and steaming landscapes along the Reykjanes Ridge produces an abundance of these unique phenomena. The device encapsulates steam through a modular system of connected transparent components, which when placed over a steam vent, is transformed into a spatial mechanism to explore the transformative qualities of diffused light. Tested in the warm and humid climate of Hveragerði to the freezing ice lagoon of Jökulsárlón, the spectrum of spatial qualities of steam and light become clear. The device begins to suggest the potential for water (in all its transformative states) to be utilised and incorporated as an architectonic element.
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Axel Kaaber Surface Flow Monitor: Examining Material Wind Resistance Does material use in architecture affect wind conditions in the environment? Wind is a harsh natural force and problematic issue in Iceland - where trees are scarce, vegetation low and towns often designed in grid formation, allowing hurricanes to engulf landscapes and infrastructure. The device acts to measure and monitor wind resistance of
differing surfaces, both natural and manmade, in a variety of geological contexts in Iceland. The device seeks to investigate which surfaces provide the least wind resistance and which the most. Latched onto vertical and horizontal surfaces, the device blows winds from three different directions through a set of internal fans - parallel, at an angle of 45째 and directly
perpendicular onto the surface in question. Utilising an anemometer to calculate the differentials between the steady flow of air at one end (through the fan) and the output at the other end. The device catalogues the relationship between wind and surface, to further our understanding of material and surface potential in the built environment.
Fieldwork in Longyearbyen, Svalbard January 2015 Geographically situated at 78°N, this Norwegian archipelago experiences zero hours of daylight during the winter season. During the second arctic expedition, the 4th years of the program along with four tutors advanced over half a month - 336 hours of arctic darkness under sub-zero temperatures in the isolated town of Longyearbyen. With a population of only 2000 inhabitants, Longyearbyen is a town dominated by legislative borders and social thresholds. Physical mobility of the students was limited by a static itinerary and personal safety was reliant on always having a rifle at hand, due to the imminent threat of over 3000 polar bears. Armed with flashlights, students explored the dark crevasses of abandoned mines and precarious ice caves to experiencing the everyday life of a Longyearbyen inhabitant. Immersed in a landscape of infinite snow and eternal darkness, students deployed their individual constructs to engage with the fundamentals of inhabitation in Longyearbyen.
Prototype Thematics Thematically, this unique territory deals with limitations and boundaries of resources, natural light, heat, and materials. Students devised different ways to approach these issues through sustainability in three distinct themes: • Natural and Artificial Light • Temperature and Energy • Water, Snow and Ice From harvesting moonlight to generating energy with salt and snow, these devices question and directly confront the role of the built environment within the extreme context of winter in Svalbard.
Localised Investigations Alongside ventures into mines and caves, students visited the University Research Center of Svalbard, Global Seed Vault, satellite station and EISCAT radar. Through critical discussions with experts, students localised their site of study to define an architectural framework for the subsequent semester.
Map of places visited in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
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GLOBAL SEED VAULT SVALSAT SATELLITE STATION COAL PL ANT
UNIVERSIT Y CENTRE CABIN
NYBYEN MINE 1B
DOG SLED PATH ICE CAVE
MINE 7 EISCAT RADAR
Left The Svalbard team pose for a photo outside the Longyearbyen Airport, with a Polar Bear warning sign. Right The essential kit to venture outdoors in Longyearbyen - a warm ski jacket and rifle.
RIght Page A collage of activities and venture in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
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Longyearbyen, Svalbard The town of 2000 inhabitants is located in the vally of Longyeardalen. Longyearbyen experiences the unique arctic phenomena of ‘midnight sun’ in the summer and ‘polar night’ in the winter
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Svalbard: Natural & Artificial Light The polarity of Svalbardâ€™s natural light conditions between summer and winter is a unique phenomenon experienced only in polar regions. During winter, the sun sets in November for four months, rising only in mid February. During this blanketing darkness, the notion of any light - natural or artificial - becomes a necessity to establish any form of communication. The unitâ€™s fieldwork in January was timed to correspond with the appearance of the full moon. A striking presence, the moonlight cast dramatic shadows in the snow and provides the only natural light source for four months. With this in mind, students devised constructs to harness and focus natural light and curate playful chromatic alternatives to public light fixtures in Longyearbyen. This theme engages with the social aspect of the built environment in Longyearbyen, with an aim to enhance the spatial quality and experience of the inhabitants through the study of light conditions.
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Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 92 - 93
Ă˜yvind Andreas Limi Light Harvester: Exploring the Arctic Light Spectrum The instrument explores the radically changing natural light conditions of Svalbard. With months of arctic darkness in the winter of Svalbard, the extensive use of artificial lighting for illumination is a necessity in the built environment. Yet, the device challenges this condition
by harvesting natural moonlight in Longyearbyen - through an orbital system of layered, adjustable lenses filled with a mixture of salt and water (to prevent the lenses from freezing in sub-zero temperatures). Through precise positioning and orientation of the lenses, the
device is able to concentrate, redirect and magnify light from a specific light source - allowing for investigation into the different qualities of moonlight by creating a readable output for comparison and analysis. Furthermore, the device explores the potential
for architecture to chart, harvest and enhance natural light, as means to generate an awareness and understanding of light source and the constantly shifting solar system in our environment.
Lise Guldager Chromatic Public Light Longyearbyen is town of many colours and no colours. During summer, the natural landscape paints a scene of green mosses, red and yellow flowers and deep
blue water alongside colourful houses curated by Norwegian designer Grete Smedal in the 1980â€™s. In winter, the town is transformed into a white canvas
of snow-covered landscape and with the loss of daylight, the houses become desaturated. In collaboration with Phillips, the device is a public light
alternative constructed to generate a playful, chromatic landscape in the dark winters of Svalbard. The lamppost consists of an LED system with
three removable LED panels and a selection of twenty colour filters, chosen to enhance or challenge our chromatic perception of the environment.
The device engages with the social aspect of Longyearbyen, suggesting an injection of chromatic lighting to an otherwise bleak landscape.
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Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 96 - 97
Kristine Behrensdorf Perceiving Light in Spaces of Darkness: Exploiting Existing Light of the Polar Night Working within the unique light conditions found beyond the Arctic Circle, the device is constructed as a foldable facade. Utilising traditional origami techniques and reflective materials, the device seeks to enhance our perception and experience of the environment. Sponsored
by Canon, the device is manufactured from a durable, waterproof paper to create a low-tech alternative of a lightenhancing facade. The device offers the potential to spatialise the unique light phenomena of the Northern Lights, through a portable and foldable structure.
Svalbard: Temperature & Energy Surrounded by snow, darkness and sub-zero temperatures, Svalbard is an isolated territory known primarily for its reliance on coal resources and a high demand for energy and heat to survive. Drawing inspiration from science and technology, students spatialise alternatives for energy generation and thermal insulation within this harsh environment through the use of local and latent resources. Utilising temperature differentials between radiant heat of the human body and the harsh climate of the Svalbard, Robert and Stine explored the use of Peltier modules and thermoelectrics as a means to generate power. Julien devised an energy skin for saltwater batteries, using only salt and snow as a resource. Astridâ€™s biomimic exploration of polar bearsâ€™ fur led to a study of thermal defense mechanisms. These experimental energy and thermal constructs explore alternatives to the heavy carbon footprint of a coal-based power industry, questioning issues of infrastructure and sustainability in the Arctic.
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Julien Nolin Icescapes and Latent Energy
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In response to Svalbardâ€™s extensive history within the coal mining industry, the device is focused on the potential to create sustainable alternatives to generate energy from renewable and available resources. A portable structure, the device is composed of three â€˜energy skinsâ€™ lined with batteries, activated by trickling saltwater through small spouts, to generate power. By placing snow/ice on a bed of salt held by a small container, the snow/ ice melts into a saline solution transforming the most prevalent and available resource found across Svalbard to satisfy its high demand for energy. These saltwater batteries produce sufficient output voltage to power a series of lights connected to the facade of the device. The device explores the notion of latent energy in Svalbard. As opposed to utilising obvious solutions to generate energy, the device questions the potential to use resources within reach, challenging our understanding of energy the built environment.
Astrid Blichfeldt Polar Bear Biomimicry: An Insulation System An investigation into the potential for a new insulation system, the device is based upon the unique structure and performance of the polar bearâ€™s fur and skin - particularly its thermal ability to resist the harsh Arctic climate. The
insulation skin tests different materials from synthetic fur, a variety of plastic tubes and fibre optics as means to mimic the function of the fur and create a facade that is both snowrepellant and insulating. The device deals with problematics
of snow accumulation in the arctic environment of Svalbard. The hollow tubes or â€˜hair folliclesâ€™, allow the sunlight to penetrate through to the surface of the skin, accumulating energy in a way similar to that of solar panels. Through
trapping warm air in the plastic tubes, the facade becomes snow-repelling, exploring the architectural potential to develop a contractible skin as a defence mechanism against harsh weather conditions.
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Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 104 - 105
Robert Baron Differential Enclosure: An Illumination of Thermal Proximity Whilst traditional attitudes towards the inhabitation of sub-zero conditions involves a regimented ritual of insulation, the device seeks to redefine the individualâ€™s experiential and autonomous relationship with their surrounding environment. The device exploits the thermoelectric properties of Peltier Tiles, which capitalise
on the Seebeck effect - a conversion of temperature differentials into electricity. The chair enclosure embraces the userâ€™s corporeal warmth and utilises its direct exposure to sub-zero surroundings to convert temperature differentials into electricity and light. Through air pockets embedded into the seat, the
device not only channels the body heat but also explores latent thermal friction between body and object. The device functions to complete the autonomous circuit occurring between inhabitance, thermal comfort, immediate experiential satisfaction and sustained periods of field research.
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Stine Bundgaard Larsen Parasitic Thermal Exploiter: Formalising Thermal Bridging Based on thermoelectric methods, the device investigates the potential to generate energy from heat loss collected from buildings in Svalbard during the Arctic winter. The device consists of Peltier modules based on
the Seebeck effect, either applied to surfaces with heat loss or as an element bridging interior and exterior spaces to test its insulation potential. The modules are connected and arranged side by side on a belt, enabling it to be
attached onto different surfaces with sufficient temperature differentials. Through the process of heat conduction and dissipation, the device generates electricity, which is visible from the light attached to the device. The belt acts as
an indicator and an incentive towards the exploring the vast potential for a simple and alternative sustainable energy source.
Svalbard: Water, Snow & Ice During winter, Longyearbyen is covered in snow and surrounded by ice, and temperatures can drop to -30째C. By laws of nature, snow and ice becomes the primary obstacles of the built environment but also the most prevalent resource within reach. These devices explored ways to capitalise on snow and ice in architecture. Students explored how the changing states of water can be transformed into an architectonic resource, from a fluid and passing state to a hard and wind-resistant state. Sara and Signe tested the performance and strength of frozen fabric ice structures through spraying water onto tensile structures. Anders explored alternative ways of snow removal through manmade soundscapes. This theme deals with temporality, charting the time it takes to melt or freeze ice and water or the strength of sound waves to move snow. Through the devices, students challenge the potential for architecture to develop instantaneous and improvised solutions to deal with the dominating presence of snow and ice in Svalbard.
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Sara Sanchez y Gøtze Fabric Flux: Capturing Tension in Sub-Zero Temperatures
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The unique phenomenon of ‘polar night’ during the winter months in Svalbard presents the ideal conditions for saturating, crystallizing and freezing fabric into instant ice shell structures. The device consists of two simultaneously functioning elements - a 3x3x3m cube made from square aluminium profiles, which acts as the supporting structure for the second element, which is a sheet of elastic nylon fabric shaped by forces in tension. The fabric explores the geometry of tensile structures through nine control points, suspended in a grid from the top of the cube. After spraying water to saturate the fabric, the subzero air temperature activates the crystallisation and curing process. In just a few short hours, the device is transformed into an ice shell, exploring the architectural possibilities for temporary structures and inhabitation in the extreme arctic conditions of Svalbard.
Anders Nottveit Vibrations of the North: Controlling Ice and Snow through Sound How do vibrations from manmade soundscapes affect the landscape and environment? The two sound devices seek to explore the visual and spatial impact of sound waves in the arctic condition of Svalbard. The first device is an interpretation of the Chladni Plate and acts as a registration tool to visualise the impact of amplified and direct sound vibrations and expose a series of patterns within granulated snow. The
second device operates in direct contact with surfaces in areas with frequent snowfall. It works to redirect resonance frequencies onto test materials in an attempt to cause snow to relocate and disperse or ice to crack . Through charting the relationship between sound and environment, the devices explore the spatial potentials and limitations of sound waves as a tool for crushing ice or removing snow accumulation.
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Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 114 - 115
Signe Sand Ă˜stergaard Larsen Weaving Ice Structures The design is an exploration of the transformative properties of knitted fabric patterns that are drenched, stretched and frozen within the sub-zero temperatures of Svalbard. The device utilises an existing knitting machine with a series of codes to form different fabric patterns. Through simple intermittent addition of water
and the force of gravity, the water drips down the delicate nets to transform them into increasingly rigid, thickened ice structures. The device questions the potential of this composite material as a tool for building in Svalbard by coded design of knitting patterns and carefully timed addition of water.
Brief: Defining an Architectural Program Between localised testing and avid exploration during the expeditions, students developed thematics for an individual architectural brief. Formulated whilst immersed within the study sites, students synthesised observations, experiences and experiments of the Investigation and Design & Manufacture phase to cultivate a focused topic and site of investigation. Continual engagement with local experts and the community, allowed for dialogue and exchange of ideas and a discussion of present local challenges. The pairing of personal experience and active testing provided a unique platform and framing of context to foster new connections between architecture, technology, local culture and knowledge. Through reviews and discussions with peers and tutors, ideas emerged as to how to link the insights gathered from the prototype phase with new influx of information gained while directly in the field. Students were encouraged to seek out localised points of investigation. In Iceland, the wide spectrum of landscapes, urban settlements
and territories allowed students to individually to explore their chosen site along the countryâ€™s coast. In Svalbard, the choice of a more focused site of Longyearbyen led to discussions involving infrastructure, sustainability and ecosystems in the town itself. As an approach to onsite mapping, students honed the particularity of their site, often noting hardships or peculiarity as a generator for an architectural discourse. The result of the onsite Brief Definition phase is manifested in the form of a program, establishing a chosen site, architectural program, area of study and objectives as an agenda for the coming semester. Each program booklet reflects the development of a critically engaged methodology to architecture that is informed before being formed, taking cues from contemporary contextual issues, theoretical references and positioning within the history of ideas, and a close collaboration with practice and researchers as a means to turn challenges into assets.
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A page on site analysis in Nicole’s program ‘Responsive Habitat’, showing user, zoning, program and social thresholds of her site on a geothermal beach in Reykjavik, Iceland. ,
Marius establishes the programmatic intent in his thesis program ‘The Cultivated Archive’, as an architectural framework.
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Alexandra reinterprets her site from the Blue Lagoon to Svartsengi Power Plant by defining zones of interaction in her program ‘Manufactured Territories’
A page from Grace’s program ‘Tuning Architecture’ reveals the palette, visual elements and orientation registered on her site in Laugarnes, Reykjavik.
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Right Page Hyper-specific studies of site including infrared photography and site analysis from Nicole’s thesis project ‘Responsive Habitat’
Designing from “Hyper-specificity” The result of the student’s investigations manifested into a variety of architectural projects. Designing from ‘hyperspecific’ testing of hypotheses in the field, the idiosyncrasies of site act as test beds for experimentation towards tectonic speculation. The selected projects detailed in the following pages act to showcase the rich spectrum of conceptual, technical, theoretical and spatial explorations enacted throughout the course. Whilst each of the projects differ in terms of scale, each display a complexity of program, often drawing a dialogue between human and industrial scales of interaction.
Thematics The problematic or complexity of site acts as the driver for architectural investigation. Thematics include innovative explorations of architectural qualities in materiality, light, form and building systems unique to context. As some of the projects deal with isolated or vast landscapes, absent from neighbouring clues for
architectural form or representation, students engaged in discussions and an iterative design process to mediate the challenge between the built environment, user, program and site. Time is a recurring theme in many of the projects. The context and architectural programs are reliant on the notion of time in different scales - daylight, seasons, rituals, tides, growth, decomposition and distillation. As a result, the propositions are challenged to question the often-static conditions of architecture towards a spatially dynamic habitat.
Objectives & Proposition The projects do not aim to provide concrete solutions to the complex issues of the Arctic, but attempt to act as a driver for dialogue into architectonic exploration. How can the built environment engage with the extreme and polarising conditions of the Arctic? What is the potential and role of architecture and technology in the future of the Arctic?
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Nicole Strelcheva, Thesis - Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach, Reykjavik, Iceland
Responsive Habitat: On the Role of Thermal Diversity This project is a proposal for a geothermal sports, bathing and leisure facility in Reykjavik, Iceland. The project seeks to question the potentials offered by thermal diversity in spatial design. How can we challenge our formal understanding of ‘thermal comfort’ as being equal to ‘thermal neutrality’ in the built environment? The term ‘thermal neutrality’ refers to the generic and conservative approach towards thermal zones in contemporary building design. This approach opposes the natural way the human body perceives temperature. The way our body processes thermal information is never neutral. It is a constantly fluctuating reality, reflective of what is directly happening to the body and within the body. The project opposes homogeneous vs. heterogeneous thermal environments, investigating the relationship between the human body and temperature through the ‘invisible’ phenomenon of temperature as a ‘visible’ spatial quality in the built environment.
Heat Core The heart of the building, its ribbed surface accumulates heat as it travels between spaces. The dry or wet corridor is an inhabitable radiator heated by geothermal energy.
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Site of Proposal - Nauth贸lsv铆k Geothermal Beach, Reykjavik Reykjavik expects a large increase in the population within the next 30 years; emphasizing on densification of the existing urban area rather than building new residential areas in the outskirts of the city. The proposal focuses on the need for sports, physical and social facilities (crucial for the residents health) in a city with challenging weather conditions that make life outdoors difficult.
Plan at +3.4 meters The proposal is best understood as separate architectural elements that intertwine and co-exist, rather than as a single building entity. These elements investigate building within the landscape and create archipelagos of diverse thermal conditions.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 126 - 127 Thermal Flow Analysis A series of initial diagrammatic and theoretical flows studies that aim to establish a set of thermal spatial requirements for the project. The gradient colours in the drawings represent thermal flows design intentions.
25m Swimming Pool The 25m pool is a deep and narrow space. On one side, next to the steps is the warm area where the user can dry themselves. The rest of the space gradually becomes cooler. In daytime, light falls on one side of the long wall through the skylights, as means to help the user orientate themselves as the swim
Outdoor Hot Pools The roof structure of the indoor swimming pool accommodates small outdoor pools and hot tubs. These features echo the indoor use of the space below in the informal outdoor landscape.
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Grace Chen, Thesis - Laugarnes, Reykjavik, Iceland
Tuning Architecture: Acoustic Parallels between Climate and Space This project explores Iceland’s cultural condition through the spatialisation of climatic and seasonal phenomena for the purpose of music experimentation in Reykjavik. A city with a burgeoning music scene, its lack of tectonic connections to its global identity of ‘natural, spacious sounds’ reveals an experiential disparity between culture and architecture. A critique against the hermetic condition of many contemporary buildings, the project seeks to engage with the environment in a dynamic and reciprocal way, coupling the notion of Icelandic sounds with its architectonic manifestation. The proposition is an architectural playground comprised of a series of outdoor recording pavilions, each interacting with a specific weather condition. Through its positioning on site, the pavilions engage with notions of time and rituals. A play between active vs. passive states, summer vs. winter, the project reinterprets existing architectural frameworks towards a site-specific response to the eclectic music scene and cultural identity of Iceland.
1:1000 Site Models in Summer vs. Winter Charting artefacts, nodes and connections registered on site
1:50 Pavilion Models A series of sound-recording pavilions used to accommodate a spectrum of weather and seasonal conditions through orientation, form, geometry and materiality.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 130 - 131
Site Plan Site location in Laugarnes in relationship to formal and informal music venues in Reykjavik. With the exception of â€˜Harpaâ€™ concert hall, music venues are often informal and internal spaces hidden in bars, bookshops and restaurants.
Site Collage Showing the contextual juxtaposition of Laugarnes between Summer and Winter, Day and Night with views to Reykjavik city center and Mount. Esja.
Axonometric Drawing Understanding nodes, paths, movements and moments of the proposal in the landscape.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 132 - 133
From Left to Right
Unrolled Section The sequence follows a route from an existing car park towards the beach on Laugarnes Peninsula, showing level changes in the proposition and its transition between indoor and outdoor space.
Rain Pavilion A parabolic echo chamber activated during rain to record the sound of raindrops falling into a body of still water. Wind Pavilion A forest of metal tubes vibrates on a windy day, resonating a tune specific to each wind condition. Snow/Ice Pavilion The submerged basin collects snow on the steps to form a natural anechoic chamber, exploiting the acoustic propoerties of snow and ice Performance Space Facade A layered system of adjustable organic facades, curtains and sliding panels. In the summer, the walkway opens to become a pier over the water. Performance Space The spatial experience is curated to the physiological condition of each performance - a seated classical concert, an experimental art piece or a sweaty dance event.
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Alexandra Holman, Thesis - Svartsengi Power Plant, Iceland
Manufactured Territory: A Laboratory Landscape for Geothermally Grown Architecture Iceland is a land of raw geological processes and holds a stark contrast between the operations of man & nature. Situated within the effluent spill zone that separates the Svartsengi Geothermal Powerplant from the famous Blue Lagoon Spa, the thesis is a speculative proposition for a novel means for producing a hyperlocal building material in Iceland. This is based on creative reuse of industrial waste and through a method of slow geological cultivation. A critical comment on the traditional methods of the construction industry today, the thesis proposes a ‘growing’ architecture that is similar to the ecology of a forest plantation. Engaging with the conflicting identities that exist on site, which oscillate between ‘environmental disaster’ and ‘Natural Wonder of the World’ (National Geographic), the project dissolves programs of the strictly recreational and fervently utilitarian in an aim to blur discordant themes of industry and tourism and stake out a new narrative within this manufactured territory.
Site Identity A paradox of place, the site provides a circumstance where waste is turned into luxury product, and the boundaries between industry and tourism become increasingly blurred.
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Site Plan The open â€˜laboratory landscapeâ€™ expands between the Svartsengi Powerplant (right) and the Blue Lagoon Spa (left). Closer to a shifting, active landscape, opposed to an industrial factory setting, the program operates within a framework of geological growth time, shifting between landscape and building scale. The experimental research facility explores the expanded potentials of geothermal sites, as a both plugin for new industry and developed touristic value.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 138 - 139
‘Sunken Pools’. Reflecting the manipulation of the existing landscape as a curation of filtered flow patterns, where design acts as a means for pooling, collecting or channeling fluid, these spaces range from redirected narrative channels that separate a thin line between smooth silica slab and ragged charcoal lava– towards larger collection ponds bound by dykes or mounds, where changes in ground condition channel fluid flow. ‘Cloud Tower’. A method for growing stair treads, a delicate frame stretches into the sky, clouded in a shroud of silicate mist. On day one it is merely a wire shell, swaying in the wind, on day 1000 one can walk gently up a few treads, on day 5000 ever higher. ‘Drip Lab’. A wet, controlled environment, the drip lab uses a mechanic system of pumps and nozzles to grow fabric shell forms. Cantilever frames are moveable sculptures, enabling slowly shifting variation of test forms. Draped between these articulated frames, the grown shells becomes saturated with minerals from above, thickening over time and evolving from lightweight nets to robust forms, transforming the interior light and material qualities of space.
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In a country that has no trees, neither the capacity to grow them, what could the intervention of a 'forest prosthesis' - where building components such as columns are grown and harvested begin to offer on an industrial, recreational and temporal scale?
Within this timeline of slow gestation, the proposal begins to offer a parallel habitat for an extended range of ecologies and human interactions. Swim amongst the growing columns, gripping the smooth wide trunks as you clamber up out of the water to observe birds which have made their nest in the column canopy, and beyond towards the power plant which lies hidden behind a cloud of heavy steam.
Morten Falbach, Thesis - Jökulsarlon, Iceland
Layers in Time: A Glacier Research and Visitor Center Situated at the edge of the glacial moraine at Jökulsarlon ice lagoon, the project lies afloat in an unsteady and dynamic terrain. Supported by expanded exploration of the one-to-one prototype (Pneumatic Foundations), the project aims to investigate and spatialise the minute shifts of the glacier through an architectural proposition. The program consists of a visitor center, sauna, dining facilities and a research facility. Through tracing glacial processes from a temporal methodology, the transformation of Vatnajökull is framed in spatial sequence to capture minute daily to significant yearly change. The main body of the building is buried within the glacial moraine and curates a fragmented landscape of detached moments that pop up above. Suspended within this fluid context, the proposal is subject to an endless glacial creep where relations between form and landscape change over time; tilted, buried or partially exposed, creating a built environment that transforms with its surrounds.
Satellite Image of Site The site is situated southeast of iceland, at the end of one of Vatnajökull’s glacial arm that stretches down into the Jókulsarlón ice lake
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 142 - 143 Proposal Model The main body of the building is hidden in the moraine and forms a fragmented landscape of elements above the surface.
Proposal Plan The plan depicts the route from the northeast entrance through a series of rooms, curated to respond to a specific behavioural quality of the glacier.
Right Page Models A series of architecture models exploring different spatial conditions in the proposition
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Aikaterini Efraimoglou, Thesis - Vik, Iceland
Knitting Iceland: A Convergence of Icelandic Craft, Wool Industry & Technology This project explores the wool industry of Iceland through three distinct programs: fabrication, research and habitation, merged through a hybrid building located in a small Icelandic town. In close collaboration with the weaving manufacturers of Vik, the three programs propose different scales and timeline of interaction from production and research to the domestic habitat. The proposal challenges the traditional use of wool in clothing and furniture towards innovative sustainable material resource in architecture. How can we challenge our formal understanding of separate architectural elements towards an intertwined relationship between the interior and exterior, of furniture and wall, through the use of wool in the built environment? Beyond exploring wool as purely a design or insulation material (as tested through the device â€˜Weaving Insulationâ€™), the project aims to investigate the wool-derived notion of interdependency through architecture, generating a resilient, behavioural and atmospheric environment.
Site Plan of Proposal in Vik, Iceland
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 146 - 147 Interior Perspective Inhabiting the circular knitting machine. Enjoy a drink within this central icon of the building as thousands of yards of wool spin continuously around you.
Process Diagram of Wool Production - from local sheep source to worn product through a study of machinery and tools. Leading to more experimental processes of wool inhabitation and performances explored in the â€˜woolenâ€™ hotel.
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Perspective view of the central ramp towards the bar
Left Interior view of the restaraunt, where users enjoy a meal under a canopy of spinning wool Right Public route through the hybrid building - located above the production zone below, with inhabitable cocoons hanging above
Top Short Section - showing the buildingâ€™s structural frame and profile, entrance and programmatic changes through different levels.
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Bottom Long Section - showing the different ways wool is integrated into the facade through spatial and programmatic definition.
Marius Costan, Thesis - Gunnarsholt, Iceland
The Cultivated Archive: A Land Reclamation Center in Iceland The project explores the regenerative possibilities of architecture as a vehicle for reclamation and cultivation of degraded land in Iceland. Since colonisation, almost 70% of the vegetation on the island has been destroyed. Vast areas of land have become desert due to agricultural mismanagement and exploitation, and the speed of erosion has been increased by volcanic activity and harsh weather conditions. The architecture reveals itself in the threshold between the pragmatics associated with existing reclamation techniques and the outcomes of the proposed interventions. Located at the Gunnarsholt farmstead, the proposal collaborates with researchers from the Soil Conservation of Iceland and reinvents existing solutions for land reclamation through a series of architectural and landscape strategies. The proposition leaves a post-industrial landscape of a Birch forest, nurtured by manure from Icelandic horses and gradually expanded through the use of wind powered dirt and seed dispersal towers run by local communities.
HekluskĂłgar 100.000 hectares
Gunnarsholt 20.000 hectares
Klosterheden plantage, Vestjylland
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 152 - 153 Mapping and site analysis of the existing Land Reclamation Center at Gunnarsholt, Iceland
Overview of Architectural Interventions A - Stables B - Manure Factory C- Tree Nursery D - Research Center E - Landscape Strategies
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Stables Designed for growing hay for feed, during winter, by using heat and CO2 generated by the horses. Heat and CO2 are also canalised into the surrounding field, stimulating crop yield. Manure is collected in the center and sent to the manure factory.
Rotating according to growth CO2 Capturer Artificial Light
CO2 infused into the grazing rolls
Co2 Ground Discharge
7 Rolls = 500m2 Pasture
Phase One Strategically placed Dirt-Towers (âˆ†) spread compost from horse manure to eroded areas.
Phase Two Matured trees from the Tree Nursery are planted in manure enrichend soil.
Phase Three Tree plantation are placed in a formation that accelerates the spreading of seeds while at the same time shelters existing tree from harsh winds. Seed Dispersal Towers (*) are placed just outside the perimeter of natural dispersal, extending the spreading of the seeds even further.
Manure Tower and Seed Dispersal Tower
Bottom Center Pavilion The center pavilion allows visitors to view the test plots, while displaying sections of soil layers, a collection of seeds used in land reclamation and a variety of vegetation found throughout the country.
Right Research Center The research center consists mainly of an artificial built landscape mimicking the different landscapes and types of soil in Iceland - allowing land reclamation techniques to be tested on site.
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Robert Baron, 4th Year - Mine 1B Sverdrupbyen, Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Gin.troverted Autonomy: Botanical Conservation in a Post-Mining Landscape The project explores the duality between Longyearbyenâ€™s historical reliance on the coal mining industry and the burgeoning field of scientific research that engages with the perception of an untouched Arctic landscape. The proposal utilizes a local coal waste rock pile as the site for an autonomous architectural program. Currently, 40 waste rock piles are recorded in Svalbard and 50% pose a threat to native vegetation. The objective investigates the relationship between mining waste, botanical research and alcohol production to generate a self-supporting ecosystem, subverting the townâ€™s historical reliance on nonrenewable consumption. Embedded in an exothermic setting, where the oxidation of sulphide minerals generates a stable 5Â°C all-year round, the building finds its balance between thermal conduction and dissipation. Gin, uniquely flavored with botanicals native to Svalbard, emerges as a tangible by-product of climatological botanical research and is housed by the spatialisation of the distillation process.
Probing into the Stabalised Temperature (captialising on heat 7m below surface)
Building as Heat Probe (large building surface reudces the thermal mass of the pile)
Separate Massing (smaller probes to maintain thermal mass of waste pile) Harnessing Exothermic Mass
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 158 - 159
Building One Axonometric The building revolves around the spatialisation of the processes of gin distillation and botanical research. The surplus heat from boiling, fermenting and distilling potatoes is curated to support the accumulation and categorisation of field samples. This is characterized by the greenhouses, where hydroponic wings control internal thermal conditions by contracting or expanding their proximity to the copper still tower.
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Left Page Left Greenhouse Plan (Below Ground) - showing public and researchers entrance with underground corridors connecting the three buildings. Right Greenhouse Plan (Above Ground) - showing the three buildings cultivation of plants, Juniper Trees and Potatoes
Building Two Axonometric The building focuses on harnessing the 5Â°C of the mine waste rock pile to generate an ideal thermal space for both the cultivation and observation of native flora and the condensation of alcohol vapor. A layered spatiality controls and channels the condensation of the alcohol, whilst encapsulating a space where alcohol saturates the air, and ultimately the inhabitantsâ€™ experience.
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Unrolled Section The section follows the sequential relationship between gin distillation and botanical research. Each building engages with its own autonomous thermal, programmatic and theoretical correlations. Together, it assembles a broader autonomy and also subverts the towns historical reliance on environmental consumption.
Stine Bundgaard Larsen, 4th Year - Mine 1, Lonyearbyen, Svalbard
Thermal Tuning: Designing through Thermal Differentials The project explores thermal differentials through the manifestation of a bathhouse and reservoir within an abandoned coal mine in Longyearbyen. Working with the tourist industry and the existing power plant, the proposal builds upon the â€˜Parasitic Thermal Exploiterâ€™ - a device that generates electricity from thermal differentials. Channelled from the neighbouring coal station, recycled hot water is pooled into the mine to form a reservoir, providing an alternate source of hydro-powered energy to the town. In parallel, the hot water is used directly in the heated pools. Inhabiting three of the mine shafts, the bathhouse digs into the cold rock to maximise the thermal shift between spaces. Divided into thermal zones through levels and thresholds, temperatures increases towards the mountain opening. Atop the exposed facade facing the town, integrated heat sinks exploit the temperature differentials from the hot humid air of the bathhouse and the freezing cold of the Arctic climate to generate electricity.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 164 - 165 Plan of Bathhouse and Beginning of Water Reservoir showing the proposal entrance through the old minerâ€™s entrance where parts of the original wooden construction is still found.
Left Site Plan Right Section of Diving Room A staircase leads the user up towards a steam room and diving pool. The steam goes through a series of pipes along the staircase, releasing at the top of the room. Integrated heat sinks in the facade and roof create waterdrops when heated air touches.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 166 - 167 Thermal Section of Diving Room - showing temperatures inside and outside the bathhouse. The heat from the diving room rises and when it reaches the ceiling with integrated heat sinks, the heated air condences leaving drop dripping down the inside of the room.
Left Interior perspectives showing spatial quality and experiences in the bathhouse in the mineshaft
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 168 - 169 Long Sections Sections showing the tectonic and thermal sequence from (left to right) changing rooms, lit up showers, cold pools to a sauna.
Sara Sánchez y Gøtze, 4th Year - Breinosa Mountain, Adventdalen, Svalbard
Stellar LAB.ORBIT.ORY: A Study of Encapsulated Atmospheres Situated in the Breinosa mountain in Longyearbyen, the project speculates upon a hierarchical shift of power within Svalbard’s chief industries; from coal powered energy production toward scientific research. In close collaboration with EISCAT and the growing tourist enterprise within the town, the ‘Stellar Observatory’ introduces an artificial landscape and elevated path as a means to curate spatial opportunities to navigate and explore an otherwise hazardous territory dominated by a freezing climate, strong arctic winds and roaming polar bears. The proposition deals with a polarity of scales, drawing the infinite bounds of the cosmos into focus, as constellations are transformed into a relative human scale. The elevated path guides visitors through a series of pavilions that shift and orientate to the optimal position to view the solar system. Through an exploration of stellar objects such as telescopes, planispheres and binoculars, the project aims to provide a habitable lens to encapsulate celestial atmospheres and navigate constellations from within the arctic environment.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 170 - 171
Left Page Top EISCAT Svalbard Radar Bottom The Planetarium - projecting the constellations into the building Mapping of Site - Artificial magnetized landcapes in Breinosa Mountain dedicated to the study of the atmosphere. The Stellar Lab.orbit.ory is situated in the future void after Mine 7 is disused, currently the only active mine in Longyearbyen.
Left Site Analysis of EISACT Svalbard Radar and nearby surroundings Right Proposal Plan, First Floor
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 172 - 173
Left Isometric of proposal location on the mountain. Tracing devices are placed in the context to track the movement of the sky. Right Proposal Plan, Third Floor The varying velocities of objects present in the sky influence the movement of the pavilions.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 174 - 175
Julien Nolin, 4th Year - Longyearbyen Coal Power Plant, Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Carbon Greenhouse: Agriculture in the Arctic A hydroponic greenhouse integrated within the coal power plant of Longyearbyen, the proposal is an architectural attachment or quasiparasite, which capitalises on waste from the power station. Feeding off excess heat, carbon dioxide and water expunged from the plant, the Carbon Greenhouse thrives from a symbiotic mutualism that benefits both host and parasite. Collaborating with the local power plant and town administration, the proposal suggests more than a cultural shift in perception of industry within Longyearbyen, posing a radical transformation of the identity markers of a â€˜power plantâ€™, in an aim to draw the townâ€™s inhabitants closer to the machine responsible for their survival. As mechanical clicks and buzzes are blurred with steam plumes, and the trickle of water mingles with rustling leaves, the industrial archetypes of power plant and greenhouse are merged. A beacon of life and light within the isolated polar climate, the Carbon Greenhouse becomes a core marker within Longyearbyen, redefining the character and identity of the town.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 176 - 17 7 Section through Spiral Market Users are brought down via escalators around the smoke stack while they pick up fresh produce from the hydroponic tubes.
Elevation The Longyearbyen Coal Power Plant burns 25,000 tons of coal annually to provide heat and electricity for the town.. Additionally, 64,000 tonnes of CO2 are emitted annually. Heat and carbon dioxide make up two of the three key elements, essential to plant growth. The third is water. The power plant uses 2-5 billion gallons of water annually for cooling and most of it is released back into the bay at a potentially harmful 15째C.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 178 - 179
Cafe & Spiral Market From the cafe at the front, to the community garden spaces at the rear, the Carbon Greenhouse offers the opportunity for social interaction with lush green surroundings in the middle of the polar night.
Isometric - Zoning & Circulation The cafe is equipped with different growth areas. Greens and root crops grow in the main tubes down the Spiral Market, vining plants grow at the back fences, herbs grow up the towers at the spiral marketâ€™s interstices, and larger crops grow in specialized pods hanging off the facade
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 180 - 181 Section The Carbon Greenhouse creates a beacon of light and life in the cold polar night. With virtually no fertile soil or the place or conditions to grow crops, the greenhouse provides the town with new possibilities, both financial and cultural.
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 182 - 183
ons & tions
Relationships & Dissemination Architecture and Extreme Environments is a course that aims to share knowledge and establish a dialogue and relationship between academia, practice and the general public. Through close collaboration with researchers, experts and scholars, students gain critical understanding in architectural discourse and global challenges of the built environment from a variety of perspectives and methodologies. The program shares fieldwork explorations and propositions through online and social media, exhibitions, publications, lectures and seminars in Denmark and abroad. The program also draws from an extensive international network within the field of architecture - from practitioners to scholars in addition to extensive local network ranging from craftsmen, suppliers and industry experts.
Exhibitions In this inaugural year of the course, the work of Architecture & Extreme Environments
has been exhibited several times both within Copenhagen and abroad. The first international exhibit, ‘The Arctic’, is a 4-month long collaboration with Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) as a public showcase of the course within a gallery space in Hong Kong. This unique opportunity allowed students to reflect upon the work explored in the course reframed within an international context, engage in conversation with other architects and generate a dialogue with the general public.
Lectures, Seminars & Reviews The program extended invitations to renowned academics, industry experts, artists and architects - such as Larry Toups from NASA JSC, Dr. Peg Rawes, Dr. Keller Easterling, Mark West, Toru Hasegawa, GXN and Henning Larsen Architects, as external reviewers and guest lecturers. Through utilising a variety of design and research methodologies, the course engages in critical thinking relevant to a wider context.
Top ‘The Arctic’ exhibition at K ADK, Copenhagen Bottom Left ‘The Arctic’ exhibition in a gallery space in Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) Bottom Right Students setting up the annual Thesis Exhibition at K ADK, Copenhagen
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 184 - 185
Seminars, Lectures and Exhibitions at K ADK and abroad
Top Left ‘The Arctic’ exhibition at K ADK in Copenhagen Top Right Larry Toups from NASA JSC in a design review with students prior to their expedition to Svalbard Bottom Left ‘The Arctic’ exhibition at Hong Kong Design Institute Bottom Right The head of program David A . Garcia gives a lecture at Hong Kong Design Institute
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 186 - 187
Krafla Geothermal Power Station, Iceland
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 188 - 189
Staff & Acknowledgements
Institute of Architecture & Technology Architecture & Extreme Environments Head of Institute David A . Garcia Course Staff David A . Garcia (Associate Professor, Head of Program) Jakob Knudsen ( Teaching Associate Professor, Head of Program) Marianne Hansen ( Teaching Associate Professor) Thomas Chevalier Bøjstrup ( Teaching Assistant) Staff and Key Advisers CITA studio Daniel Sang-Hoon Lee Emanuele Naboni Kasper L . Køppen Olga Popovic Larsen Mads Johnsen Torben Valerius Administrator Birgitte Weien Guest Lecturers Dr. Keller Easterling Dr. Peg Rawes Mark West Toru Hasegara
Alcoa - Fjardaal Aluminum Smelter BASALT Architects Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa Garðplöntusalan Borg Hveragerði Greenhouse Studios Hellisheidi Power Plant Icelandic Association for Search & Rescue IMX - Icelandic Music Export Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant Krafla Power Plant Norður Salt & Algae Factory Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland Studio Sundlaugin Studio Granda Víkurprjón Wool Factory
Svalbard: EISCAT Svalbard Radar Longyearbyen Coal Power Plant Svalbard Global Seed Vault SvalSat, Svalbard Satellite Station UNIS - The University Centre in Svalbard Denmark: Nils Bohr Institue, Centre for Ice and Climate (Jørgen Peder Steffensen) Hong Kong: HKDI - Hong Kong Design Institute Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) (Lee Wai Lee)
Architecture & Extreme Environments - The Arctic / Page 190 - 191
Sponsors Canon COWI Dreyers Fond FLIR Fomalux Friluftsland Kalmer Fonden Lee Filters Marie Månsson Fonden Nordea Fonden Philips RIAS Siminn
Students 5th Year Alexandra Holman Aikaterini Efraimoglou Anita Bonde Eriksen Anders Wittenborg Axel Kaaber Björn Svensson Cathrine Thornfeldt Gabriele Gualdi Grace Chen Hannah Rosa Rasch Kine Fagerheim Linda Therese Björling Marius Costan Morten Falbach Nicole Strelcheva
Australia Greece Denmark Denmark Iceland Sweden Denmark Italy New Zealand Denmark Norway Sweden Denmark Norway Bulgaria
4th Year Anders Nottveit Astrid Blichfeldt Julien Nolin Johan Steenberg Kristine Braae Behrensdorff Lise Helene Skafte Guldager Robert Baron Signe Sand Østergaard Larsen Stine Bundgaard Larsen Sara Sanchez y Gøtze Zayd Alasadi Øyvind Andreas Limi
Norway Denmark Canada Denmark Denmark Denmark Australia Denmark Denmark Denmark Sweden Norway
Editor David A . Garcia Thomas Chevalier Bøjstrup Text & Content Curator Grace Chen Alexandra Holman Design NR2154 Layout Grace Chen Alexandra Holman Proofreading Grace Chen Alexandra Holman
Alexandra Holman: 21-23, 46, 56, 62-63, 136-141 Aikaterini Efraimoglou: 26-28, 49, 72, 146-151 Anders Nottveit: 35-37 Astrid Blichfeldt: 32-34, 102, 103 Axel Kaaber: 26-28, 76, 82-83 David Garcia: 6-9, 14-15, 41, 43, 47- 49, 50, 52-56, 60-76, 78-81, 84, 86-91, 94-98, 102, 106-115, 170, 185-189, Back Cover Gabriele Gualdi: 16-17, 21-23, 48, 74-75 Grace Chen: 13, 24-25, 51-52, 55, 7 7, 79, 117-119, 130-135 Julien Nolin: 30, 46, 99-101, 176-181 Kine Fagerheim: 26-28, 57-59 Kristine Braae Behrensdorff: 31, 97 Linda Therese Björling: 24-25 Lise Helene Skafte Guldager: 94 Lukasz Pita: 14 Marius Costan: 21-23, 44, 152-157 Morten Falbach: 26-28, 142-145 Nicole Strelcheva: 24-25, 48, 55, 123-129 Robert Baron: Cover, 35-37, 45, 104-105 Stine Bundgaard Larsen: 35-37, 45, 107, 164-169 Sara Sanchez y Gøtze: 32-34, 85, 170-175 Øyvind Andreas Limi: 44, 92-93
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Architecture & Extreme Environments is a two year Master course taught at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture. The course engages with contexts out of balance through methods of investigation, manufacture and direct site involvement in an aim for hyperspecificity in its architectural propositions. The area of investigation of the course changes annually and for 2015, the course focused on the Arctic.
This Master programme pursues a site specific exploration of architecture defined in response to present and future global challenges. Throu...
Published on Jan 10, 2016
This Master programme pursues a site specific exploration of architecture defined in response to present and future global challenges. Throu...