The Arctic Council © Melissa Lawson

The Arctic Council

Melissa Lawson

Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Project Description

'An exploration of designing at the Arctic's water edge'

The North is perceived as an intriguing and captivating part of the world with vast horizons, untouched wilderness, and dramatic landscapes. My proposal for an Arctic Council, located in Reykjavik, seeks to unite the 8 countries that lie at the edge of the northern temperate zone along the latitude 64° North - Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia; through their common interests and aspirations for the survival of the North.

This investigation is driven by my interest in designing places that convey the notion of 'belonging to the North' - a region focused around nature, light, materials and human senses. Exploring the recurring elements of the North - in particular the movement of Arctic sea ice which covers around 16 million square kilometres of the Arctic, has allowed me to test, make and extract conclusions when designing at different water edge environments – Harbour and Sea.

Winner: The RIAS Rowand Anderson Silver Medal for Best 5th Year Student

An elemental approach to a landscape of harsh geology, this scheme considers geopolitical sustainability and proposes a response in a beautifully drawn proposal which is abrupt, angular, cold, hard and thoroughly appropriate.
Judges’ Comments