A glass pavilion by Konstantin Ikonomidis

The Qaammat pavilion designed and built by Architect Konstantin Ikonomidis in cooperation with UNESCO and the Qeqqata Municipality, located in Sarfannguit, Greenland wins A+Awards. Located in Sarfannguit, a cultural landscape in West Greenland and a UNESCO Worl 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.

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Qaammat Pavilion by Konstantin Ikonomidis
Photo credit: Julien Lanoo

Characterized by the two fjords that meet on Sarfannguit’s easter 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 Sarfannguit 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.

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Qaammat Pavilion by Konstantin Ikonomidis
Photo credit: Julien Lanoo

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Qaammat Pavilion by Konstantin Ikonomidis
Photo credit: Julien Lanoo

The pavilion is anchored in the rocky terrain. Drilled into the ground with 40-mm holes, the foundation is constructed with rock anchors in the exact same way that every typical house in the settlement is. 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 important part of the design phase was site-specific research by Konstantin Ikonomidis. Following his earlier work and research 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.

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Qaammat Pavilion by Konstantin Ikonomidis
Photo credit: Julien Lanoo

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Qaammat Pavilion by Konstantin Ikonomidis
Photo credit: Julien Lanoo

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Qaammat Pavilion by Konstantin Ikonomidis
Photo credit: Julien Lanoo

About Konstantin Ikonomidis

Konstantin Ikonomidis is a Swedish architect. He graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Copenhagen in 2014, and studied at the Department of Architecture of the College of Built Environment at the University of Washington in 2012. His work bridges the territories of art, architecture, and scientific research with a special interest in extreme climates. He has played a key role in the development of prototype housing that seeks to prevent the transmissions of malaria-borne diseases in tropical areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. Konstantin has been researching and documenting remote landscapes in Greenland, exploring the subject of “home” and its immaterial aspects and meaning, and its symbols returning to the humbler task of understanding, rather than reforming.


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