AIR+PORT by BIG and Tegnestuen Nuuk at the Danish Pavilion

Danish architects BIG and Tegnestuen Nuuk present ideas for a combined airfield and shipping port in Greenland at the Danish Pavilion during the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012.

AIR+PORT by BIG and Tegnestuen Nuuk at the Danish Pavilion

The AIR+PORT proposals form one strand of the exhibition Possible Greenland, which addresses the future development of Greenland's infrastructure as new shipping routes and oil drilling bring increased attention to the country.

AIR+PORT by BIG and Tegnestuen Nuuk at the Danish Pavilion

The cross-shaped airport and shipping harbour would be located on an island just outside capital city Nuuk and would facilitate domestic and international flights, as well as supporting trade routes.

AIR+PORT by BIG and Tegnestuen Nuuk at the Danish Pavilion

"Greenlanders today are purely dependent on air traffic for domestic commutes but almost crippled by empty flights and staggering prices," explains BIG founder Bjarke Ingels. "The new Air+Port will become a transit hub between Europe and America, increasing potential transit tourism and cutting costs for the local commuters."

AIR+PORT by BIG and Tegnestuen Nuuk at the Danish Pavilion

Also presented at the exhibition are a masterplan addressing immigration policies, plans to help cultivate resources and ideas for new housing typologies that respect the country's history and identity.

AIR+PORT by BIG and Tegnestuen Nuuk at the Danish Pavilion

Other recent projects by BIG include a cultural centre for Bordeaux and a skyscraper shaped like a hash symbol.

AIR+PORT by BIG and Tegnestuen Nuuk at the Danish Pavilion

Above: installation at the Danish Pavilion

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Here's a little more information from BIG:


BIG in collaboration with TENU, Julie Hardenberg and Inuk Silas Høgh present Connecting Greenland: AIR+PORT as a part of the exhibition “POSSIBLE GREENLAND” at the Danish Pavilion, exploring the potentials and challenges that Greenland is facing as the country gains global attention.

Greenland’s political agenda is currently dominated by the global interest in its natural resources suggesting an international accessible airport in Nuuk and the upgrading of the capital’s industrial harbor. The current inefficient domestic aviation system together with the eruption of resources and impacts of climate change place Greenland uniquely in the center of the future maritime world map. Greenland Transport Commission identified the island of Angisunnguaq, south of Nuuk as a potential new epicenter for connecting Greenland.

“Greenland has the potential to reposition itself from the periphery to the center of the major world economies of Europe, Asia and America. Greenlanders today are purely dependent on air traffic for domestic commutes but almost crippled by empty flights and staggering prices. The new Air+Port will become a transit hub between Europe and America – increasing potential transit tourism and cutting costs for the local commuters. By overlapping the water and airways in the Air+Port we seek to resolve a domestic challenge with a global investment. A piece of global infrastructure with a positive social side effect – Social Infrastructure.” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.

Rather than seeing these major infrastructural developments as two separate investments, BIG envisions a symbiotic relationship between the two transportation systems air + port. Instead of creating a new mono programmatic piece of public infrastructure the project explores the potential mix of programmatic molecules creating a new DNA for efficient transportation and vibrant public programs benefitting not only Nuuk, but the country as a whole.