SNow : Architectural Design Workshop



SNOW is an architectural design workshop that took place from January to April 2020 with a group of twenty students at the bachelor and master's degree in architecture at Université Laval. This workshop was based on a creative exploration of Inuit housing by integrating the themes of living - building - transforming. The workshop was led by members of Myriam Blais (co-investigator), Myrtille Bayle (granted student) and supported by professional speakers and researchers on Inuit housing.


As a first step, the workshop aimed to document development opportunities in the current Inuit context and to identify promising examples of culturally sustainable northern architecture. Based on the synthesis of the knowledge gathered previously, the students then imagined and illustrated architectural design solutions at the domestic and urban scales for the partner village of Kangiqsualujjaq in Nunavik.


Unfortunately a key step could not be achieved due to the health situation. The consultation with the citizens of Kangiqsualujjuaq (announced for April 1rst to 6th) has been postponed until further notice.

All the results of this workshop will contribute to the creation of an atlas of good practices for culturally acceptable and sustainable living environments in Nunavik. A selection of the work carried out and excerpts from the workshop lectures are presented below (audio recordings in French).


1. Gathering knowledge


This step is accompanied by an analysis of architecture projects and punctuated by various lectures, film screenings, readings of texts, etc. Conference guests and excerpts from conferences (in french) :


Urbanized Northern Territories in Transformation : Typomorphological Analysis of Inuit Villages in Nunavik (Audio & PDF) by Maxime Rochette, Architect at Groupe A / Annexe U


A culturally significant development ? Concepts and methods in urban design (Audio & PDF) by Laurence St-Jean, Architect at ABCP architecture


Cabins and Inuit Know-How (Audio & PDF) by Pierre-Olivier Demeule, M.Arch, Research student in architecture at Université Laval


Strategic Scenarios for Salluit (Audio & PDF) & Thoughts on the Landscape that Could Guide Architecture and Urban Design in Nunavik (Audio & PDF) by Mathieu Avarello, Urban designer, Architectural advisor at Ville de Québec


ABCs of Frozen Soil (Video & PDF) by Sarah Gauthier, PhD student in geography (Geomorphology) at Université Laval


A New Season for Social Tansformations of Inuit Housing (Audio & PDF) by Gérard Duhaime, Professor in sociology and comparative indigenous condition at Université Laval


Portrait of Social Housing in Nunavik (Audio & PDF) by Marie-Pier Breton, Northern development and built environment advisor at Société d’habitation du Québec & Marika Vachon, PhD Student in architecture at Université Laval

2. Sketching ideas

Click on the images to view the complete presentations. If you have a problem viewing the presentations, download the PDF document.

3. Showing possibilities

Click on the images to view the complete presentations. If you have a problem viewing the presentations, download the PDF document.


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