DEEP FREEZE: Building for the North

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Cemetery, 209 © Courtesy of the artist and Harbourfront Centre
DEEP FREEZE: Building for the North

235 Queens Quay W.
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2G8
January 26th, 2013 - June 9th, 2013
Opening: January 25th, 2013 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Corktown / Distillery District / Harbour Front
(416) 973-5379
Tue, Thu-Sun 12-6; Wed 12-8


When building in the North, where the weather conditions are extreme, do you build to shut out or embrace the exacting environment?

With extended periods of continuous daylight or darkness, how do these two environmental extremes affect the design of built form?

How does contemporary architecture respond to a landscape that is exceptional in so many ways and so dissimilar from that of the south?

Building for the Arctic climate is a challenging endeavour. Snow, severe temperatures and lengthy periods of sunlight or darkness are just some of the variables one needs to consider.

Northern terrains are often considered inhospitable and uninhabitable by more southern observers. But the Arctic has an incredibly extensive history of people maintaining communities and building structures that are more than capable in matching the demands of this landscape.

Currently, the North is in position for dramatic transformations. It’s a region of new wealth and development brought on by newly discovered resources. It’s also being affected by a changing climate due to the effects of global warming. These issues contribute significantly in the dramatic change many settlements in the North are facing. There’s a need to build new towns and cities and expand existing infrastructures. Yet the increasing demand for change must still be responsive to the landscape and narrative of the North.

DEEP FREEZE analyses this evolving region and presents projects of new architecture being built in the North by firms allied to the North. It also presents current creative research and advanced inventive insights that respond to dilemmas faced by Arctic development.

– Patrick Macaulay
Head, Visual Arts, Harbourfront Centre