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Tiny House on the Tundra

Tiny House on the Tundra is a climate-sensitive design solution which considers the effects of rising climate on permafrost.  The platform of the house is raised above the ground by adjustable piers which accommodate destabilized and shifting ground which results from longer thaw cycles in the permafrost.  The raised living quarters also serve to minimize heat transfer from the house to the ground by providing an air gap in addition to multiple layers of insulation.

The House was designed as long-term temporary housing for a hypothetical mining operation in the arctic region.  The dwelling accommodates two workers and features two bedroom spaces placed to either side of a central heat source that can be opened to the living room with sliding doors to provide additional, flexible space for larger gatherings.  An exterior living space with fireplace connects the house to a river on the property.

Slim floor to ceiling windows transition to skylights along a north south axis to allow sunlight into the building at the smallest angle in winter months but with only narrow apertures so as not to overheat the space with direct overhead light in the summer.

While the house and accompanying landscape design were specific to the region and climate using building science and vernacular precedent studies from the region, the building’s sensitivity and minimal impression on the site (mixed with prefabrication possibilities) make the structure adaptable to other environments and locations.




Nunavut, Canada


May, 2018



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