Danish studio Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter has revealed its designs for a climate research and visitor centre in Greenland, featuring a tent-like structure and a rooftop platform for observing icebergs (+ slideshow).
The Icefjord Centre will be located 150 miles north of the Artic Circle in Ilulissat, a UNESCO-protected area on Greenland's western coast.
It will offer an important resource for scientists examining the history of earth's climates, as it will allow researchers to study the Ilulissat Icefjord – a glacier containing ice estimated to be 250,000 years old.
It is also expected to create a new gathering space for local residents and tourists.
"The Icefjord area carries 4,000 years of cultural heritage and is essential for the understanding of climate changes," said Dorte Mandrup.
"The Icefjord Centre will tell the story of ice, of human history and evolution in both a local and global sense."
The building will feature two pitched openings at either end of a softly curving L-shaped plan.
Its roof will slope down to the ground, forming a wooden boardwalk where visitors can take in views of the icefjord and the beginning of a walking trail.
Inside, floor-to-ceiling glazing inserted between the building's wooden trusses will frame panoramic views of the landscape.
"The building is designed as an all encompassing framework, partly inside and partly outside, that embraces all activities," said the architects.
"The wooden framework, designed as a truss, bridges the rugged landscape," they added. "It floats lightly above it, curving out over the edge of the Sermermiut Valley, offering the spectacular, undisturbed view through the valley and to the icefjord."
The Icefjord Centre is expected to open in autumn 2020. It will be realised with funding from both Greenland's government and the Danish philanthropic organisation Realdania.
While Greenland has a strong craft tradition, the country is not well known for having a contemporary architecture and design.
Greenland's self-proclaimed first product designer, Liss Stender, spoke to Dezeen during the DesignMarch 2015 festival in Iceland about the challenges of working in the least densely populated country in the world.
Further south of the proposed Icefjord Centre in the capital city Nuuk, Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group are planning a ring-shaped building to house the National Gallery of Greenland.
Interior renderings are by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter and exteriors are by Mir.
Architect: Kristine Jensens Tegnestue, Nohr & Sigsgaard Arkitektfirma, Masanti Arkitekter
Engineers: Søren Jensen Rådgivende Ingeniørfirma
Consultants: Niels Ben-Netzen, Minik Thorleif Rosing Copenhagen University, Geological Museum, State Natural History Museum