This arctic ‘icefjord’ centre overlooks the world’s fastest glacier

Dorte Mandrup’s design blends into the rugged coast

Danish architect Dorte Mandrup, known for her sculptural, site-specific buildings, has completed a visitors’ centre with boomerang contours on Greenland’s west coast, 250km north of the Arctic Circle.

A viewing platform on the roof of Ilulissat Icefjord Centre , slanted slightly to keep snow from settling, looks out to the Unesco-listed Ilulissat icefjord in Disko Bay.

The structure, composed of 52 steel frames, sits on an inland lake, set back from the mouth of the bay where the world’s fastest-moving glacier reaches the sea and breaks off into icebergs. Visitors can come to watch the mountainous horizon for the winter sun, then follow the walking trail along ancient bedrock to the ragged coast.

Exhibitions in the wooded interior provide information on the geographical and geological changes in the region, and the 4,000-year culture of the Inuit peoples.

If you can make it there, the centre is free to visit, though you’ll have to book a place ahead of your arrival.

Photography: Adam Mørk
Photography: Adam Mørk
Photography: Adam Mørk

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