Iceberg-inspired cultural center celebrates Inuit traditions

June 26, 2018 by  
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When Montreal-based Blouin Orzes architectes was tapped to design a new Inuit cultural center for the arctic region of Nunavik, they knew that the project would be no easy task. Nunavik, which occupies the northern third of the province of Quebec, not only has a harsh climate, but also faces incredibly high construction costs due to its remote location and lack of materials, which can only be shipped during the brief summer season. Despite these challenges, Blouin Orzes architectes has the advantage of experience—the firm has worked in Nunavik since 2000 and tapped into its intimate understanding of the culture and people to design a Cultural Center that celebrates Inuit traditions in a striking, iceberg-inspired building. Located in the Northern Village of Kuujjuaraapik near the mouth of the Great Whale River, the new 680-square-meter Cultural Center was created in close collaboration with the community. Drawing inspiration from the shape of icebergs , the architects designed the building—which spans 1 1/2 stories—with a strong geometric shape. The facility is sheathed in steel panels and yellow-painted timber planks that reference the sand dune on which the village sits. “Despite living in extremely remote communities, Nunavik’s Inuit do not hesitate travelling long distances by plane to visit each other or to attend an important cultural event,” wrote Blouin Orzes architectes in a statement. “Since the fall of 2017, the 10,000 people living in one of Nunavik’s 14 communities can now gather in a new Cultural Centre located in the Northern Village of Kuujjuaraapik, north of the 55th parallel. Originally planned as a showcase for the highly popular Inuit Games, the facility lends itself to all sorts of events, from storytelling, singing and dancing to concerts, films, banquets and other types of gatherings.” Related: Tiny Alaskan village votes to abandon 400-year-old ancestral home because of climate change The facility is accessed via a concrete ramp that extends to form an outdoor gathering space. A deep south-facing overhang that echoes the portico of the nearby church, the oldest structure in the village, protects the entrance. Beyond the lobby is the main hall, which accommodates up to 300 people and is equipped with state-of-the art AV equipment. + Blouin Orzes architectes Aerial image by Heiko Wittenborn, all others by Blouin Orzes architectes

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Iceberg-inspired cultural center celebrates Inuit traditions

Temporary Forest Temple in Lithuania is a modern-day teepee for a group of artists

November 21, 2016 by  
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Photo by Berta Tilmantaite Forest Temple is made entire out of ropes tightly wrapped around a few tree trunks. The area in-between the trees accommodates a generous “tribal” gathering space where artists, artisans, architects, writers, photographers and yogis can meet and reconnect with nature. Photo by Lidija Kaleninikovaite Related: Ghost Forest Repurposes Fallen Rainforest Trees Into a Striking Public Art Installation “Living in tents and teepees and eating from the nature , the tribe started to do a circular meditative movement to connect a handful of pine trees with natural linen rope. The result is insect architecture, a man-made semi-transparent cocoon swinging together with the trees. Architecture is the art of reality. There is no other reality than nature.” + Marco Casagrande Laboratory Via Archdaily Lead photo by Lina Pilibaviciute

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Temporary Forest Temple in Lithuania is a modern-day teepee for a group of artists

Playful urban escape with swings, food and firepits opens soon in San Francisco

June 17, 2016 by  
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There’s a new event space opening up this month in San Francisco ’s Mission Bay. Despite its 16,000 square foot lot, Spark Social SF is a gathering spot designed to feel cozy and intimate. Developed by the SoMa StrEat Food Park team, inspiration for the project came naturally in response to the neighborhood’s limited dining options. Spark was designed to bring together the neighborhood in a warm and welcoming space that includes a beer and sangria garden, spaces for gatherings, and a rotating selection of more than 150 local food trucks . But Spark is more than simply a lunch venue or event space. Once visitors are done exploring the food trucks and bar, they’ll encounter what amounts to a delightful playground for adults: with front-porch style swings and firepits dotting the lot, along with a relaxing grassy knoll, large-scale games to enjoy, and a vintage double-decker bus open to the public. The space was designed and built by San Francisco-based LMNOP Design , which handled everything from initial concept and branding to the actual fabrication and construction. During the design process, LMNOP was committed to keeping the space as flexible as possible. For instance, while normally food trucks will be parked in a central location within the lot, they can also easily slide into spaces at the edge of the track to create a continuous central space for large events. Related: “World’s most environmental” restaurant opens in San Francisco LMNOP also kept sustainability in mind when constructing the venue. The majority of the lumber used in the project was sourced directly from J+C Enterprises, a family-owned business in Northern California which provided salvaged cedar from a 2012 wild fire in Lassen National Forest. If you’re in the Bay Area and you’d like to experience Spark Social for yourself, you don’t have long to wait. The grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, June 25, 2016 and will feature live music and events throughout the weekend. It’s located on 4th Street between Mission Bay Boulevard North and Missions Bay Boulevard South. Just visit the Spark Social site for more details. + Spark Social SF + LMNOP Design

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Playful urban escape with swings, food and firepits opens soon in San Francisco

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