In 2004, the ice fjord was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and Ilulissat has become Greenland's primary tourist city. The visible consequences of climate change in the area also attract large numbers of international visitors, such as climate debaters, climate researchers, and government leaders, in connection with research, meetings, etc.
A visionary building with respect for nature
In July 2015, an architectural competition was announced for the Icefjord Centre, and on 21 June 2016, the winner of the architectural competition was made public: Dorte Mandrup Architects’ proposal was chosen as the winning project. They created a visionary building with respect for the special UNESCO-protected natural area.
The building is a simple, twisted structure, almost like a wing in the landscape, and the architects describe their inspiration poetically as "a snow owl's flight through the landscape."
The building will make up a natural extension of the hiking routes, providing the possibility to walk on the outside of the building, on the roof, with magnificent views of the ice fjord and the landscape. The open facade creates a dialogue between the exhibition and the surroundings – between man and nature. The basic idea is that the house should impact the fragile landscape as little as possible.
An area with great potential
According to an analysis, the establishment of an ice fjord centre in Ilulissat has great potential for the further development of the ice fjord and of Ilulissat as a tourist destination. The goal is to create a combined place of arrival, place of information, and meeting place for both local residents, ordinary tourists, and the professional climate change debaters.
25,000 guests are expected to visit the centre each year, which will help strengthen and develop tourism in the area.
The ice fjord on UNESCO's World Heritage List
In 2004, the ice fjord at Ilulissat was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its unique glaciological conditions and attractive nature. In 4,400 years, people have lived with the ice fjord, which contains large numbers of fish and marine mammals. Fishing is still an important activity in the area, but the ice fjord is now also a meeting place for the world's climate scientists, for government leaders who want to put climate change on the agenda, and for tourists who are attracted to the rare and dramatic place.