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Old Posted Sep 27, 2011, 3:45 PM
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NUNAVUT | An Inuit inspiration for high-rise living | VISION

An Arctic inspiration for high-rise living


Sep. 16, 2011

By JOHN BENTLEY MAYS



Read More: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/...rticle2169439/

Quote:
.....

Back in the summer of 2007, Toronto architect Reza Aliabadi was coaxed by this curiosity to fly as far north in Canada as air transport could take him, in order to know something of the great Arctic alternative to the time and space of urban living. But the landing strip at Pond Inlet, on the northern shore of Baffin Island, still wasn’t far enough from Toronto. So Mr. Aliabadi hired a boat and some Inuit guides, and cast off into the Arctic ocean. Thinking about that August, the architect recalls the primordial desolation of the place he had come to – “the flat horizon, the horizontality of the landscape, the vastness and the void.” He told me that he keenly felt his “vulnerability in nature, since no urban skills are usable.”

- The landscape of Baffin Island is one of the flattest terrains on earth. A special gravitational power seems to be at work in the earth there – a power that is psychological as well as physical – dragging everything down to the level of the ground and the low horizon. To stack up rocks into high, fragile sculptures is to defy this levelling force – to resist, as human beings have always resisted, whatever draws us toward the earth, death and dissolution.

- The natural imagery and the art of the Arctic haunted Mr. Aliabadi since 2007, though a busy practice prevented him from pursuing his interests in the Canadian north. Until last year, that is, when he decided to enter an architectural competition sponsored by the New York-based eVolo Magazine. The contest brief stipulated that the contributions embody fresh approaches to adding density, in the form of skyscrapers, to cities that were already dense. At first, he did what he calls “conventional sketches” of tall buildings. But not for long. Disregarding the competition’s practical thrust, Mr. Aliabadi chose to use the occasion to launch a free enquiry into the features that had made his Arctic trip so memorable.

- The imaginary tower consists of large stacked boulders, each hollowed out to provide one or more apartments per rock, and arrayed vertically along a service and elevator. In the story Mr. Aliabadi has woven around his project, the stone building is a “refuge for restless souls,” a hostel for people harried by hectic urban time and other civilized constraints. It recalls igloos and caves, among the most primitive dwellings ever devised. Here, summertime refugee would be immersed in a parallel universe where daylight hours never end and where every stony cave in the sky opened toward the low, infinitely far horizon.

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Old Posted Sep 27, 2011, 4:20 PM
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Quote:
The landscape of Baffin Island is one of the flattest terrains on earth.
WTF????

Baffin Island coast:

Wikipedia

Quote:
The Baffin Mountains run along the northeastern shore of the island and are a part of the Arctic Cordillera. Mount Odin is the highest peak, with an elevation of at least 2,143 m (7,031 ft) (some sources say 2,147 m (7,044 ft)[1][2]). Another peak of note is Mount Asgard, located in Auyuittuq National Park, with an elevation of 2,011 m (6,598 ft). Mount Thor, with an elevation of 1,675 m (5,495 ft), is said to have the greatest purely vertical drop of any mountain on Earth, at 1,250 m (4,100 ft).
wikipedia


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