Located in Sarfannguit, a cultural landscape in west Greenland and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2018, the Qaammat Pavilion by Konstantin Ikonomidis is designed to celebrate and promote the Inuit intangible cultural heritage and traditional knowledge of the environment.
Characterised by the two fjords that meet on Sarfannguit’s eastern tip on the hills, the pavilion’s location has been carefully chosen by the local community, Site Manager, Paninnguaq Fleischer-Lyberth, and Architect, Konstantin Ikonomidis, for its impressive view over the municipality.
Set on the planned trail between Sarfannguit and Nipisat, this site-specific installation will serve as a landmark and a gathering point and dissemination site, where the World Heritage Site’s beautiful surroundings can be experienced by locals and visitors to the village. The Qaammat Pavilion is designed as a poetic and aesthetic object, but, most importantly, as a symbolic gesture acknowledging the natural site and rich history, the distinctiveness of the Greenlandic culture and the spiritual sensibilities rooted in Sarfannguit.
The pavilion is anchored in the rocky terrain. Drilled into the ground with 40mm holes, the foundation is constructed with rock anchors exactly like every typical house in the settlement. Attached to the upper part of the metal poles is a custom-made, stainless-steel bracket with a circular geometry. The metal bar is fully horizontal, and the poles vary in length according to the terrain. The curving walls, constructed in glass blocks, form a linear pathway open at both ends, which serves as an entrance to the pavilion. One of the more distinctive features of the structure is its glass ‘shell’, its play of transparencies, scale and weight, resulting in a feeling of surreality. The Qaammat Pavilion can simultaneously alter the viewer’s perspective, merge and even vanish into the surrounding topography.
The design draws inspiration from the moon and the Arctic light in combination with the snow’s reflections. An essential part of the design phase was site-specific research by Konstantin. Following his earlier work and analysis on the subject of home, Konstantin focused on his interest in integrating landscape, culture and human stories into the design. Marked by encounters, conversations and interviews with the locals, the architect’s intention is to reflect these experiences, stories and myths poetically in the design of the pavilion.