Visitor center for the World Seed Archive in Spitzbergen

Design studio winter semester 2019 / 2020


Spitzbergen (Svalbard) is located far north of the Arctic Circle and is of great importance for the exploration of the Arctic due to its geographical location and its affiliation to Norway. In the course of its history, the archipelago has developed from a whaling base to a Mecca for Arctic research. It is not only an ideal base and starting point for expeditions into the Arctic ice, but also an excellent observation area for observing the rapidly progressing global warming in the sensitive ecosystem of the Arctic.
In this context, the question arises how construction must adapt to this extreme environment and the rapidly changing climatic conditions. The aim of the design/project work is to develop future-oriented building constructions that enable life in the Arctic climate. Therefore, in contrast to the static understanding of architecture, new dynamic solutions for the shell and construction are sought.
The draft is connected with an excursion to Spitsbergen from 03.10. to 11.10. The students should gain insights into local construction methods and learn about the requirements for adaptive architecture. The knowledge gained in this way will serve as a basis for the semester design of a visitor center for the world-famous Seed Archive on Spitsbergen. In addition to the visitor center, a research laboratory with accommodation, conference and laboratory rooms for research groups as well as a greenhouse as an experimental field for the Seed Archive will be built.
Participation in the design is obligatory to attend the associated seminar "Envelope systems for extreme climate zones".


Teaching staff: Prof. Martin Ostermann + staff of the chair






Selected works by students



Wencke Deitermann/Franziska Spiess

Leonie Staudenraus/Jonas Schimo

Celine Zaiser/Ludwig Wallner

Cassandra Sauter/Thalita Harlos

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