Mobile Cottages for Arctic Tourism

By Sarah Rich / Published by Dwell
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While most Dwell readers know Artek as the Finnish design company founded by Alvar and Aino Aalto, there's another Artek not too far away with a very different profile: a research and training branch of the Danish Technical University called the Arctic Technology Centre (Artek for short). This past summer, students from the university worked with Artek to design a mobile cottage for Arctic tourists that would have a light footprint but still be heavy duty enough for the extreme conditions.

The concept, known as IlluHOME, is a three-sided fold-up cottage made from fiberglass and aluminum. It is light enough to be transported by dogsled over the ice and snow of greenland, and equipped to support renewable energy technology and wastewater treatment features. In the exposed terrain of greenland, warm temperature inside the cottages also depend simply upon the absorption of solar heat throughout the day.

The paradoxical and somewhat disheartening see-it-before-it's-gone tourism trend will surely bring more visitors to the Arctic as the glaciers continue to melt. Preventing further impact is key to upholding a tourism industry in Greenland as climate change continues to alter the environment. In addition, scientists conducting research in the Arctic need shelters that are flexible and light for extended periods of exploration. Cottage designs like this one can help alleviate some of the pressure for permanent accommodation and make the adoption of sustainable energy strategies a little easier in this remote location.

A post over at Designboom provides some live images of the models, which were recently exhibited during Copenhagen Design Week. Images: Kristoffer Negendahl

Sarah Rich


When not working in design, Sarah Rich writes, talks and forecasts about food and consumer culture.

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