Situated in the northern most inhabited place on earth, Alert, this project simulates ideal living conditions for scientists working in the Arctic. This distinct environment is enclosed by a vast geodesic dome resting on a drifting floating base, allowing for a deliberate withdrawal from the community of Alert while conducting specific marine research activities.
The conditions of the inside are the antipode of the sober Nordic landscape in order to provide an enjoyable and stimulating environment to evolve in. The spaces are therefore diverse and filled with greenery.
A pool of seawater at the base of the core keeps the temperature of the bottom fresh while heated air naturally rises towards the top of the dome. Hence, the lower platforms are enclosed to host calm spaces like the research laboratory, whereas the higher ones are unbound and dedicated to leisure, such as gathering and relaxation activities.
From the dome emerges a structural circulation core around which platforms are cantilevered at different heights and orientations, creating dynamic and illuminated spaces. The core also hosts the vertical piping system, which goes through the platforms for water, heating and electricity. Electrical pipes extend from the platforms to shape the dome’s inside layer and create a network of lighting devices which mimic the sun during polar nights. The middle layer of the dome is made of electrochromic glass controlling light permeability during midnight sun, whereas the outside layer is covered by insulated glass.
The building therefore creates an environment responding to psychological and physical needs of researchers working in the extreme conditions of the Arctic.