Inuit and First Nations
Centre for Northern Studies of Laval University
The twin villages of Whapmagoostui–Kuujjuarapik, strategically located at the junction of Cree and Inuit territory, of taiga and tundra, has been Laval University’s Centre for Northern Studies research hub since the 1960s, hosting scientists and students from around the world. The Community Science Centre is an addition to the CEN’s campus. The state–of–the–art building was designed to facilitate research and to provide a space for knowledge exchange and community outreach.
The ground floor features a permanent exhibition on the territory’s cultural and scientific history as well as flexible teaching and conference spaces adaptable to the use of both scientists and school groups. The second floor offers private quarters for visiting scientists and dormitories for students.
The design narrative of the building brings together, the Inuit, the Cree and the visiting scientists (nicknamed tent people). This is done by mixing a “prospector tent” derived volume with teepee poles to modulate the façade along with an inukshuk and an open teepee structure extending into the landscape. Designed based on sustainability principles, the building received the Cecobois Sustainable Development Award, recognizing its innovative characteristics.
CECOBOIS Award of Excellence in Sustainable Development
“Maintaining cultural diversity remains an important component of sustainable development. Too often, this aspect is neglected.”Alain Fournier, quoted by Marie-Ève Sirois (in translation), Voir Vert, Le portail du bâtiment durable au Québec