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Designing Intergenerational Houses for Nunavik : Young Inuit and Architects Discuss Possible Project

The Construction & Design masters studio at Université Laval’s School of Architecture (19 participants including teachers and consultant, led by M. Blais) is back from a memorable journey to Nunavik that took place between 17th and 22nd February 2018. The team is currently mandated by the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) to design a new type of youth center with opportunities for intergenerational exchanges. The mandate includes an analysis of users’ needs and aspirations. Four communities were visited: Puvirnituq, Akulivik, Inukjuak and Umiujaq, where dozens of Inuit citizens shared information, knowledge and realities.

From the air, the infinite nuna was encountered: so vast and so unknown to the visitors, yet so well understood by the Inuit. The design team met with elders, NV and local organizations’ representatives, teachers and several students in each of the village’s schools. All of them have painted striking portraits of the reality of remote communities living in an extreme climate (minus 55 in the blizzard during the stay!), with traditions, culture, language, values ​​and expectations quite different from the South. The students’ goal was to better understand issues related to living environments to nourish projects for new types of youth centers that take particularities, traditions and needs into account. An intergenerational house thought for them, with them !

This colourful stay - not as snowy as previously imagined ! - provided architects with a wealth of knowledge and data to face the exciting challenge of reinterpreting an important and much needed local equipment.

Final projects will be presented at U. Laval’s School of Architecture May 1rst, 2018. All are invited !

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