Snøhetta designs Arctic seed vault visitor centre on Svalbard - architecture and design

Snøhetta designs Arctic seed vault visitor centre on Svalbard



Snøhetta has designed a visitor centre for two archives, which will be built within the Arctic Circle on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago.
Named The Arc, the building will be a place for people to digitally view items from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which is the world's largest, secure seed-storage, and the Arctic World Archive ? a digital vault of the world's history and culture.

"Today, there is really no option for people to visit the seed vault," said Julie Aars, senior architect at Snøhetta.
"Several tourists try to visit it but get disappointed when they realise that they can only see it from the outside, as most of the vault is located underground with strict security measures," she told Dezeen. "The visitor centre will let people experience what is stored inside the vault without going into the vault itself."

The visitor centre will be split into two clearly defined volumes.
The entrance building, which will contain the ticket office, a cafe and offices for staff, will be a rectangular structure made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) that will be raised above the ground on stilts. This building will be clad with burnt wood and dark glass panels and topped with solar panels.

Alongside the entrance block, and connected to it by an enclosed, glass-sided bridge, the exhibition building will be a large conical form.
"While the entrance building is rational and stoic, and something you might recogni...
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