Architectural Design Competition

Design Statement

Design Team

Lead Architect, Denmark

Dorte Mandrup Architects

Architect of Record, Yellowknife/Iqaluit

Guy Architects Ltd.

Structural Engineer

Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Limited

Mechanical & Electrical Engineering

Pageau Morel et Associés

Landscape Architecture

E Lees & Associates

Civil Engineering

EXP Services Inc.

Inuit Consulting

Polar Outfitting

Inuit Consulting and Model Building

Arctic UAV & Panaq Design

Cost Control

Altus Group Limited


Jury Statement

On May 29, an Inuit-majority jury met in Ottawa to choose the winning team. Members of the jury had been invited to review the qualifications submitted, attend the Heritage Summit in Winnipeg and/or the Design Week in Iqaluit (in person or virtually), to learn more about NIHC planning and listen to the architects’ presentations.

The winning proposal convinced the jury with their beautiful and poetic response to the requirements outlined in the Feasibility Study and during the March Design Week in Iqaluit. Jury members felt that Mandrup heard and understood community perspectives regarding Inuit Traditional Knowledge and the healing potential for the NIHC. The reference to kalutoqaniq resonated with the jury, the prevailing wind causing shapes and paterns in the snowdrifts. They appreciated the reference to Inuit wayfinding and integration into the landscape. They liked the idea of the building growing from the land, and the glowing lights in the landscape, for the eyes of the people of Nunavut. They liked the living green roof and the idea of having the more protected functional spaces set deeper into the hill. They thought the design and shape were interesting and that the building had an efficient footprint.

About the Jury

  • Eva Aariak
  • Leena Evic
  • Piita Irniq
  • Nicole Luke 
  • Moshe Safdie 
  • Sakiasie Sowdlooapik
  • Desiree Valadares

Technical Advisors (non-voting)

  • Evelyn Ayre, Preventive Conservation Advisor, Canadian Conservation Institute
  • William Beveridge, Executive Director, Inuit Heritage Trust
  • Catherine C. Cole, Director of Planning, Inuit Heritage Trust
  • Vivian Manasc, Principal, Reimagine Architects
  • Romeyn Stevenson, Assistant Executive Director, QIA
  • Emmy Young, Origin Studios

Competition Process

A Request for Qualifications was developed, circulated, and posted in Canada and internationally, at the end of December 2022. Fifteen architectural teams submitted, including several from other circumpolar countries. Four teams were shortlisted and invited to Iqaluit for the Design Week.

Design Week

Iqaluit, March 20-24, 2022

The Design Week in Iqaluit brought together the four architectural teams to learn about the issues involved in designing a heritage centre for Nunavut: the logistics of shipping and construction, the environment, programming goals, federal Category A designation for heritage facilities, daycare regulations, etc., to listen to elders and youth, and other community members about their aspirations for the heritage centre, and to propose some initial thoughts about what they might produce. They then had six weeks to develop a detailed proposal, including 3D models. 


  1. ALA Architects / 1×1 architecture / Crosier Kilgour & Partners / WSP / Groupe BC2
  2. B.I.G. / Republic Architecture Inc / KGS Group / Public Work / RWDI / Hanscomb
  3. Dorte Mandrup / Guy Architects
  4. Teeple / Lateral Office