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A Quiet Pavilion in Greenland: Architect Konstantin Ikonomidis’ Crystalline Design

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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)

Looking out at the two conjoining fjords, you would never guess that a pavilion was hidden among the landscape. But upon further exploration, you will find Swedish architect Konstantin Ikonomidis’ latest design: Qaammat pavilion. This subtle pavilion “celebrates and promotes the intangible Inuit heritage and knowledge of the environment.”

Ikonomidis’ pavilion, installed in Sarfannguit, a cultural landscape of Greenland and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is sure to impress passers-by. “The choice for the location was influenced by a strong desire to preserve nature and achieve balance within the amazing environment,” says Ikonomidis. “The pavilion strives to instill a respect for nature in the local culture, and it accomplishes this through the subtle integration of man-made architecture and natural environment.”

The transparent construction is inspired by Arctic light and has a see-through glass shell with two narrow holes through which visitors may enter. The building’s façade is made from various solid-cast bricks blending in with the scenery while also altering the perspective when viewed from within. Ikonomidis adds, “The magnificence of this natural environment exudes an air of invincibility, yet it also reminds us of nature’s fragility. The concept of utilizing glass as a construction material is ‘anchored’ in the rock, as it were. Because of its touchability and capacity to accentuate transparency, glass was picked; it hides the structure while defining the landscape—the pavilion insinuates itself but is almost unnoticeable.”

The pavilion will also alter as the environment changes throughout the year. “The pavilion is meant to be a canvas, which will come to life through reflecting the color palette of its environment—sun, snow, various seasons, and visitors’ reflections.” As a result, this construction will absorb and display a wide range of experiences over time.

Ikonomidis’ website and Instagram account provide additional insight into his creative process.

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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)
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Konstantin Ikonomidis, Qaammat Pavilion, Sarfannguit, Greenland, 2021. (Photo: Julien Lanoo)