Architectural approach to planning in the extreme arctic environment.
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2016

Extreme environments in Polar Regions share similar facilities and operations, design and planning challenges: extreme cold temperatures, structural problems, high standards for materials, resources limitations (including people), transportation and logistics. Nevertheless, they differ depending on local cultural and social traditions and climate challenges specific to a particular region. Environmental hardships create challenges that reflect on sets of architectural requirements. The paper discusses these challenges and their influences on form developing factors, site orientation and circulation, - factors that affect budget considerations as well. The paper also discusses criticality of addressing such impacts at the programming design stage especially in challenging environments, in order to avoid costly adjustments at later development stages. The paper argues that integrating an architectural approach into planning of construction and related to it activities in Polar Regions is critical for enabling sustainability and resilient strategies there. The importance of such integration comes from the fact that engineering-oriented developers follow strictly industry-specific technical regulations and standards. Simultaneously, planning construction work and design in extreme conditions becomes a more complex process that calls for a new methodology, which would differ from common regulatory “checklists” that most companies implement in their practices there. This paper outlines and categorizes recurrent and specific to extreme environment and conditions events based on select research methods that include verbal data collection and case studies analysis. Figures Of Merit method employed for identification of important lessons that can be applied across different settings; and the ‘HSB Sustainable Living Lab’ project is suggested for effectiveness and verification purposes. Understanding of relationships and influences between different facets of human society and architecture can help to find a design approach and optimize needs and requirements for various types of people living and working in extreme environments of Polar Regions, their societies and cultures.



extreme environment

polar architecture

arctic developments


Olga Bannova

Chalmers, Arkitektur

archiDOCT: Transformable Architecture

2309-0103 (eISSN)

Vol. 4 1 53-67









Hållbar utveckling


Building Futures (2010-2018)


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