Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS)

  • LOCATION

    Ikaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay)

  • TYPE

    Inuit and First Nations
    Government

  • CLIENT

    Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

  • BUDGET

    $125M

  • YEAR

    2012 – Ongoing

The Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) was built in Ikaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay), Nunavut, as part of Canada’s Northern Strategy. The facility is a world-class Arctic research station, demonstrating state-of-the-art design excellence that serves as a model for similar polar facilities around the world.
The CHARS brings science and technology and traditional Inuit knowledge together under one roof. The architecture of the station reflects and makes possible this new paradigm.

EVOQ designed the 7,888m² CHARS campus in joint venture with NFOE. The two-storey Main Building covers 4,800m² and it houses cutting-edge laboratories and public spaces such as a multi-use knowledge-sharing area, food services and a winter garden. The Campus also includes a Field and Maintenance Building and residences for researchers.
While CHARS will make an international statement on Canadian research in the Arctic, it will also be an architectural representation of Inuit culture to ensure full integration into the community.
Both the process leading to the design and the design of the station itself are derived from a number of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) principles “that which has always been known”. The Inuit planning principle of free, open, interconnected spaces is used in the layout of the public spaces. The circular shaped qalgiq (traditional communal igloo) used inside and outside, takes on both a physical and symbolic presence. The exposed wood structure conveys the ingenuity of the many Inuit designed, stick built assemblies. The copper-coloured cladding is a nod to the Copper Inuit, the host community. CHARS is scheduled for completion in 2018 and the project is aiming for LEED Gold certification.

Photos: Alex Fradkin

Video: Arctic UAV

 

KEY PERSONNEL

Alain Fournier
Carolyne Fonatine
Laurie Damme-Gonneville
Félix-Antoine Thibault
Neil McNulty

CONTACT

Alain Fournier
Director
fournier@evoqarchitecture.com

Contact us

Montreal 1435 St-Alexandre Street, Suite 1000 Montreal, Quebec H3A 2G4 T. 514 393-9490 F. 514 393-9498
Toronto 366 Adelaide St. East, Suite 225 Toronto, Ontario, M5A 3X9 T. 647 723-2030
PANAQ Design Iqaluit 3 Bill Mackenzie Lane, House 3602 P.O. Box 2170 Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0 T. 867 909-2055 F. 867 979-2414