Arctic Synthesis

Arctic Synthesis is an investigation of resource-driven settlement strategies in Arctic environments. Traditional construction materials are scarce in the northern latitudes, and extreme environmental challenges to construction are notoriously common to the Arctic. In light of recent economic interest in the Arctic, this project reconsiders current models of construction and importation.
In response to the lack of conventional construction materials, this project has been developed to capitalise on the most abundant resource in the Arctic: soil, which, conveniently, also has positive thermal properties. Peat can easily be prepared for use in a one year period using traditional methods and simple tools. For lack of aggregate material in both availability and ease of construction, a system was devised in which hermetically sealed bags are filled with soil, and a vacuum pump is used to compress the bags into rigid panels.
Various environmental, topological and strategic relationships have been used to develop a design model for autonomous building clusters. Different building types were also developed with different uses to define cluster variations. Lastly, the capacity of a site to harness water from precipitation dictates the maximum viable population of a site accounting for the needs of a self-sufficient settlement. The aim of this multi-scale investigation of a material strategy is to investigate the possibility of pioneering the New North in a way that is economically efficient and environmentally meaningful.


Giulio Gianni (MSc, Italy
Francis McCloskey (MArch, Puerto Rico)
Alican Sungur (MArch, Turkey)