Dawn of something new: How architecture is changing along with the North

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By Matthew Hague
Special to The Globe and Mail, January 7, 2015

As Arctic communities undergo profound growth and change, artists and architects are responding in radical ways. They are creating enduring structures that actually reflect the ever-changing environmental and cultural context of the North.

Sandhornoya, a remote island in northern Norway, just above the Arctic Circle, has the kind of epic, sublime landscape that would have inspired Turner or Bierstadt. A white sand beach unfurls around an inky blue inlet, a black, jagged mountain knifes up through a scruff of green brush. The landscape is mystical on its own, but until September, 2015, it is even more fantastic. Along the shoreline, a stunning series of pavilions have been erected for SALT: the world’s first, year-long festival of Arctic art, architecture and culture.

Since it began last August, the event has swelled the island’s population well beyond its normal 400, attracting visitors from as far as Australia. One woman travelled from Britain (by plane via Oslo, plus a boat ride) simply because she saw a photo of the festival in a magazine and decided she had to be there. Read more…

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