August 07, 2011

Architectural Quirks

Many of the buildings in Iqaluit, especially the newer houses and apartments, are built on raised foundations, which allows the bottom of the house to be insulated and out of contact with the permafrost, and is easier than digging a foundation in extremely rocky ground.

Many of the buildings are also painted in bright and cheery colors. The school in Apex. A colorful house. I'm not quite sure why this is done. The older buildings aren't quite so colorful. Possibly to help counteract winter depression?

Also, although I don't have a picture of one, many buildings have blizzard lights near the doorways: low-power red lights, running continuously even during the summer. I've been told the red light is easiest to spot during white-out conditions (or in fog).

The entrance-ways in homes are set up like an airlock. There's the outer door, a small room where you can take off your boots and hang up your coat, almost always with a heater or hot-air vent running full blast, and an inner door leading to the rest of the house. I saw one which had a slightly sloped floor with a drain in the lowest part, presumably to deal with melting snow shaken off of clothing or pooling under the boot rack.


At August 21, 2011, Anonymous Peter said...

I would assume the bright colour of the houses is also for visibility in storms? Seems like lots of towns with fishing industries share this. I'd be interested to know if you find any origin for it.


Post a Comment

<< Home