NU Health Embassy

for Arctic Adaptations competition, held by Lateral Office, 2013
with Jake Ford

Brief: With its 15th anniversary approaching, Nunavut now needs a 2030 vision for the promotion, delivery, and access to the health and wellness across the territory. Design proposals should represent this vision at two scales: (1) a territorial or regional scale considering networks or exchanges of knowledge and ideas; and (2) an architectural and typological scale

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98% of medical travel originating from nunavut occurs for scheduled, specialized treatment in southern hospitals, unavailable in nunavut due to low population density. Dislocated patients are geographically removed from familiar surroundings and loved ones at times in which they are meant to heal. Mental and physical health conditions are aggravated by cultural and language barriers, while the social and medical support systems lack consistency, increasing stress.

As the Nunavimmiut population grows, pressure to provide adequate medical and social support to travelling patients will increase on southern hospitals and boarding houses, and demand will grow for travelling specialists.


NU HEALTH EMBASSY aims to improve health in nunavut by treating deficiencies in the current medical travel network as opportunities to reclaim territory, empower inuit, and improve holistic wellness and treatment for travelling patients, and train health care professionals for practice in the north.

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regional health network

At a regional scale, we propose health consulates stationed in regional centres to collect and harbour overnight travellers from their respective regions in preparation for the journey south through Iqualuit to Ottawa.

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The Nunavut health embassy

Land between the major ottawa treatment centres for health travellers is CLAIMED AS NUNAVUT TERRITORY. The transition from Ottawa into Nunavut territory is demarcated by an emergent Arctic tundra landscape. The health embassy houses Nunavimmiut while they undergo treatment nearby, aiming to decrease stress and homesickness and increase the efficacy of treatments. Traditional health care, boarding, social programming and typologies merge to form new collective terrains.

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Further Projects