Nunavut Arctic College Nunatta Campus Expansion Building, Canadian architecture design

Nunavut Arctic College Expansion

NU Higher Education Architecture Development in Canada design by Teeple Architects

Architect of Record: Teeple architects ; Associate Architect: Cibinel Architecture

Location: Iqaluit, NU, Canada

Nunavut Arctic College Expansion, Nunatta Campus

Nunavut Arctic College Nunatta Campus Expansion

Photos by Julie Jira

3 + 1 Aug 2019

Nunavut Arctic College Nunatta Campus Expansion

General and Technical Report:

The Nunavut Arctic College Nunatta Campus Expansion is a major expansion of a vital academic and cultural institution in Iqaluit, the capital of the Canadian territory of Nunavut.

Nunavut Arctic College Expansion, Nunatta Campus

Nunavut Arctic College provides a wide variety of programs at the highest national standard with a core mission to support lifelong learning and protect and promote Inuit language and culture. The Nunatta Campus is a vital cultural hub and social centre for both the local Iqaluit community and the many students who have traveled far from their homes in remote communities throughout Nunavut to attend.

Nunavut Arctic College Expansion, Nunatta Campus

Conceptual Design & Spatial Organization

The internal organization of the building maximizes transparency and spatial interconnectivity to foster student engagement, breaking down potential social barriers. In this way, the project has sought to reflect northern values and self-consciously include elements that promote Inuit identity. In an animated and inclusive way, it links together all of the public functions of the new Nunavut Arctic College – Nunatta Campus.

Nunavut Arctic College Expansion, Nunatta Campus

The first space one enters is a circular social space—the heart of the building. The circular geometry is intended to reflect the Inuit value of collaboration. It is a place where the Arctic College community will gather to learn, to eat, and to celebrate.

Nunavut Arctic College Expansion, Nunatta Campus building

Consideration was given to the traditional use of space for gathering and interaction. The Inuit Studies and Fur Design & Production facilities are centrally located and highly visible to visitors, animating the public space with the activity of learning and creation.

Nunavut Arctic College Nunatta Campus Expansion Canada Building

The design of the building is also rooted in the powerful Baffin Island landscape. The building emerges from the dark bedrock of the hill behind as an ambiguous natural form, in part shaped by the wind to minimize drifting and to provide substantial protection from the elements at the entrance. An angled wall on the south façade parallels the existing Inuksuk on site—respecting its place.

Nunavut Arctic College Nunatta Campus Expansion Building

Technical Design

The design sets forth a strong emphasis on innovative form combined with a warm interior spatial presence. A balance is achieved between the competing desires of insulating the building as much as possible against the Arctic cold while simultaneously bringing in natural light and taking advantage of the beautiful views to the harbour and the landscape beyond. Glazed fibreglass curtain wall slivers are placed strategically on the exterior façade to further maximize the distribution of natural light to the perimeter program spaces.

Nunavut Arctic College Nunatta Campus Expansion Building

A combination of Solera insulated glazing and clear triple glazed panels is used on the south façade and clerestory windows to direct equal amounts of light in all directions, creating a diffused and full spectrum of light. A strategic cut through the roof generates a clerestory that scoops southern light deep into the heart of the building. Internally located classrooms have glass wall openings that allow this light to permeate to the interior of the building.

Nunavut Arctic College Nunatta Campus Expansion Building

The cold dry climate permits the use of a standing seam metal roof with no gutters as well as a stained Western Red-Cedar vertically applied cladding which encloses the compact design. The exterior envelope insulation values range up to as high as R57 (RSI 10.0) and through the use of Cascadia fiberglass thermal spacers, the transfer of the harsh cold climate to the inside via thermal bridging is mitigated when fastening the exterior cladding elements to the remainder of the wall assembly.

Nunavut Arctic College Nunatta Campus Expansion Building

The exposed glulam wood structure creates warmth to the spaces that are located on the second level and the double-height central space. Wood wall panels and a mountainous feature guardrail contribute to the idea of bringing elements of the natural environment to not only the exterior but to the interior of the project.

Nunavut Arctic College Building Canada

Logistical Considerations

Construction sequencing was an important consideration in the design of the project. As Iqaluit, Nunavut is in a remote community located on an island in the Arctic, all construction materials are either shipped or flown in. Because the community is ice-bound for most of the year, the shipping season is limited to 3 times a year in the months between June and October.

Materials are stored outdoors or in heated warehouses in order to allow for construction to continue throughout the year. The design of the building intentionally accommodated constraints due to cold weather, labor trade sequencing and material thermal limits.

Nunavut Arctic College Building Canada

Through digital BIM modeling of the architectural and structural design, the speed of completing the fabrication of the structural materials was expedited to accommodate the shipping schedule. Steel and Glulam models were built by the fabricators and coordinated with the architectural and structural design teams.

Issues were resolved through Requests for Information rather than complete shop drawing reviews. The fabrication of structural members could then be advanced, packaged and shipped in time to make the barge in Montreal and shipped to Iqaluit for installation.

Nunavut Arctic College Iqaluit Building Canada

Nunavut Arctic College Expansion – Building Information

NAME OF BUILDING: Nunavut Arctic College Expansion – Nunatta Campus
ADDRESS: Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada
CLIENT/OWNER: Government of Nunavut & Nunavut Arctic College
SIZE: 3000 m2
VALUE: $27 Million

ARCHITECT: Teeple Architects Inc.


Teeple Architects
Stephen Teeple, Martin Baron, Julie Jira, Jason Nelson, Cameron Parkin, Miguel Sanchez Enkerlin, Allen Shariat, Petra Bogias, Guido Charito, Marine de Carbonnieres, Patrick Harvey, Melanie Lo, Fadi Salib, Nicole Vigneux, Robert Cheung, James Janzer, Mahsa Majidian, Tomer Diamant

Cibinel Architecture
George Cibinel, Michael Robertson, Mallory Briggs, Anne Cholakis, Steff Beernaerts

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Kudlik Construction Ltd.

Mechanical: Narwhal Plumbing & Heating Ltd.
Electrical: Arctic Electrical Ltd.

Nunavut Arctic College, Québec Building Canada

Structural Engineers: Crosier Kilgour & Partners Ltd.
Mechanical Engineers: WSP
Electrical Engineers: WSP
Civil Engineers: WSP
Sustainability: WSP
Geotechnical: Journeaux Assoc.
Wayfinding: Entro Communications
Landscape Architecture: PFS Studio

PHOTOGRAPHER: Julie Jira [email protected]


Nunavut Arctic College Expansion from Julie Jira on Vimeo.


1- Nordic Structures- Glulam Structure
2- Imetco- Standing Seam Metal Roof
3- GlasCurtain Inc – Fibreglass Curtain Wall
4- Solera Real Daylighting Solutions – Translucent Glazing
5- Cascadia Windows & Doors – Fiberglass Thermal

Furniture Supplier – KISIK Commercial Furniture

Nunavut Arctic College Québec Building Canada

Photographs: Julie Jira

Arctic College in Nunavut information / images received 010819 from Teeple Architects

Teeple Architects

Location: Nunavut, Canada

Nunavik Building

Nunavik Cultural Centre, Kuujjuaraapik, Nunavik, Québec, Canada
Design: Blouin Orzes architectes
Cultural Centre in Nunavik Quebec
photos : Heiko Wittenborn and Blouin Orzes architectes
Nunavik Cultural Centre Building

Canadian Architects

Canadian Architecture

College Buildings

Montreal Buildings

Canadian Buildings

Comments / photos for the Arctic College in Nunavut Canada Architecture page welcome

Website: Nunavut Arctic College