Resource Driven Settlement Strategies for Life 60°N


Giulio Gianni (M.Sc. with Distinction)

Francis McCloskey-López (M.Arch. with Distinction)

Alican Sungur (M.Arch. with Distinction)

2014 – 15


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. As such, the majority of the built mass consists of imported panellised assemblies that borrow from modular military buildings or housing types better suited to lower latitudes.

In light of recent economic interest in the Arctic, this project reconsiders current models of construction and importation. Firstly, a material system and building type was developed to address locally sourced materials. This material strategy has been explored at a variety of scales ranging from various building types, to environmentally driven building arrangements, to sustainable settlement growth patterns. The aim of the investigation is the development of sustainable and semi-autonomous settlement types for pioneering what is often perceived to be the Earth’s final frontier.

The work is contextualised in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the site of various settlements few and far in between, developed in the 1950s and 1960s mostly as part of a relocation strategy for indigenous peoples.

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.