Swedish architect Konstantin Ikonomidis finds a way to merge a man-made design into a serene landscape. He created a crystalline pavilion along a trail in western Greenland, which overlooks two conjoining fjords. Commissioned by the Qeqqata municipality, the subtle design “celebrates and promotes the intangible Inuit heritage and knowledge of the environment.”
Qaammat pavilion is installed in Sarfannguit, a cultural landscape of Greenland and a UNESCO World Heritage site. “The choice for the site was guided by a strong desire to respect nature and find a balance within the extraordinary landscape,” explains Ikonomidis. “The pavilion seeks to embrace a sensitivity towards nature instilled in the local culture, and establishes a subtle presence by blurring the physical boundary between man-made structure and the natural terrain and landscape.”
The transparent structure draws inspiration from Arctic light and features a see-through glass shell with two narrow openings for visitors to enter. Its exterior is made up of numerous solid-cast bricks which both merge the edifice with the surroundings and alter the viewer's perspective when looking through the structure. “There is an immense sense of power in this natural landscape, yet it also reminds us of nature’s vulnerability,” Ikonomidis continues. “The concept of using glass as a building material ‘anchored’ in the rock translates this sensibility. Glass was chosen for its palpability, its ability to highlight transparency; it camouflages the building and delineates the landscape—the pavilion inserts its presence but remains almost invisible.”
As the landscape changes through the seasons, the pavilion will also transform. “The pavilion is imagined as a canvas, which will come alive through reflecting the color palette of its surroundings—sun, snow, the different seasons, and reflections of the buildings visitors.” Consequently, as time passes, this construction will absorb and display a multitude of diverse experiences.