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The Unique Architecture Of Nunavut

Nunavut’s natural landscape is incredibly unique, perhaps aligning more with what one might expect the surface of the Moon to look like rather than somewhere in Canada. The buildings and structures in Nunavut require the ability to withstand one of Canada’s most extreme climates, and it’s reflected not only in the construction of most of the territories’ structures but also in their outward appearance. Weather stations, military outposts, and stilted or raised homes dot the landscape of this incredibly unique and beautiful place. Take a look at some of the most colourful and unique building of Nunavut below…

 

Iqaluit Airport was founded as Frobisher Bay Air Base in 1942 by the United States Air Force. From it’s establishment until 1963, the base was used by the United States and Canada for transportation purposes, at which point, it was changed to a civilian airport. Photo: Dan Evans

Iqaluit Airport was founded as Frobisher Bay Air Base in 1942 by the United States Air Force. From it’s establishment until 1963, the base was used by the United States and Canada for transportation purposes, at which point, it was changed to a civilian airport. Photo: Dan Evans

The Polar Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) is a group of research facilities for Canadian university researchers and government agencies. PEARL is in Eureka, a small research base on Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut. It is the third northernmost research facility on the planet. The region has the lowest average annual temperature and least precipitation of any weather station in Canada. This is how we walk on the moon. Photo: nfcdove

The Polar Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) is a group of research facilities for Canadian university researchers and government agencies. PEARL is in Eureka, a small research base on Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut. It is the third northernmost research facility on the planet. The region has the lowest average annual temperature and least precipitation of any weather station in Canada. This is how we walk on the moon. Photo: nfcdove

Few schools in Canada have as unique architecture as Nakasuk School in Iqaluit, Nunavut. The school is constructed of fibreglass and is built to look like a two-storey ice block. The name, “Nakasuk,” is in reference to the founder and first resident of Iqaluit, an Inuk who selected the location of Iqaluit as a site for the U.S. Navy to build and establish their base. Photo: Mapio.net

Few schools in Canada have as unique architecture as Nakasuk School in Iqaluit, Nunavut. The school is constructed of fibreglass and is built to look like a two-storey ice block. The name, “Nakasuk,” is in reference to the founder and first resident of Iqaluit, an Inuk who selected the location of Iqaluit as a site for the U.S. Navy to build and establish their base. Photo: Mapio.net

Building in cold climates is a little more complicated than typical building construction. Melting permafrost would cause major issues for typical concrete foundations, so a variety of techniques are used to combat the permafrost thaw, including in-ground refrigeration. Many commercial and residential buildings in Iqaluit are constructed atop steel pipes that are drilled 5-30 feet underground. All of the supplies for construction are shipped to Iqaluit by boat and stockpiled, as sailing is impossible during the winter months. The above photo is in Iqaluit’s plateau subdivision. The yellow building in the distance is Iqaluit’s airport terminal. Photo: Ron Wassink

Building in cold climates is a little more complicated than typical building construction. Melting permafrost would cause major issues for typical concrete foundations, so a variety of techniques are used to combat the permafrost thaw, including in-ground refrigeration. Many commercial and residential buildings in Iqaluit are constructed atop steel pipes that are drilled 5-30 feet underground. All of the supplies for construction are shipped to Iqaluit by boat and stockpiled, as sailing is impossible during the winter months. The above photo is in Iqaluit’s plateau subdivision. The yellow building in the distance is Iqaluit’s airport terminal. Photo: Ron Wassink

St. Jude’s Cathedral is the Anglican Cathedral in Iqaluit. It is the seat of the Diocese (district under “supervision” of a bishop) of the Arctic, which covers the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Nunavik region of Northern Quebec. Colloquially called the Igloo Cathedral, the structure is well known for it’s interior of Inuit decorations. Photo: Wiki Commons

St. Jude’s Cathedral is the Anglican Cathedral in Iqaluit. It is the seat of the Diocese (district under “supervision” of a bishop) of the Arctic, which covers the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Nunavik region of Northern Quebec. Colloquially called the Igloo Cathedral, the structure is well known for its interior of Inuit decorations. Photo: Wiki Commons

The Legislative Building of Nunavut is located in Iqaluit, Nunavut and was constructed between 1998 and ’99. It is a three-story glass and wood building and includes a two-story assembly hall and an Inuktituk concept of meeting place or “Qaggip.” Photo: Wiki Commons

The Legislative Building of Nunavut is located in Iqaluit, Nunavut and was constructed between 1998 and 1999. It is a three-story glass and wood building and includes a two-story assembly hall and an Inuktituk concept of meeting place or “Qaggip.” Photo: Wiki Commons

This Star Wars looking building is the Hall Beach Radar Site. Hall Beach, Nunavut was established in 1957 during the construction of a Distant Early Warning (DEW) site. DEW’s were a system of radar stations in the northern Arctic region of Canada set up to detect incoming Soviet bombers and sea-and-land invasion during the Cold War. Photo: antiquehistory.net

This Star Wars looking building is the Hall Beach Radar Site. Hall Beach, Nunavut was established in 1957 during the construction of a Distant Early Warning (DEW) site. DEW was a system of radar stations in the northern Arctic region of Canada set up to detect incoming Soviet bombers and sea-and-land invasion during the Cold War. Photo: antiquehistory.net

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