Ivalo River Sandbanks – honourable mention Archiprix 2017

Laura Langridge’s graduation project presents a new architectural typology tailored to conditions in the flood plains of the Ivalo River in Finland.

A heavy stone and concrete base withstands the forces of ice and water, while the light wood construction above it filters the variations in daylight into the interior, with the passage of time expressed in its weathering and repairs.

Hide-away Sited on a narrow strip of beach, this refuge can house small groups of young people for outdoor sports such as rowing, fishing and skiing. second floor: lounge, kitchen and dining room first floor: entrance hall, cloakroom, bedrooms and lounge ground floor: boathouse and storage section entrance.

On the banks of the Ivalo River in Finland, 250 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, time is marked by a unique ritual of seasons. In the far North, summer and winter pass by in extremes, and the turns of the seasons bring forth both beauty and challenge. For the people of Ivalo, time, river and culture are intertwined. While the river represents nourishment, recreation and transport for the village, it equally and critically also represents risk. Seasonal floods threaten to overcome existing engineered barriers, and the village’s current building practices are ill-suited for flood exposure.

Shell Bordering on fields, this building with a kitchen and greenhouse gives the local population and tourists the opportunity to learn to prepare local cuisine. second floor: greenhouse/event space, apartment first floor: entrance hall, kitchen, dining area ground floor: storage, washroom, exterior courtyard.

In response to this context, the project proposes a more passive architectural typology for the floodplain. Heavy stone and concrete bases temper the demands of water and ice, while light wood construction above addresses variations in daylight and the passage of time via weathering and renewal. This strategy is elaborated through a series of small buildings placed independently along sandbanks at the river’s edge. The buildings are uniquely site specific, but as a family they suggest a robust and unified architectural approach for the river in tune with the needs of both the landscape and the culture.

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Laura Langridge

school / discipline
TU Delft / Faculty of Architecture and the Build Environment
Frits Palmboom, Taneha K. Bacchin, Jan van de Voort
graduation started
September 2015
June 2016

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what are you doing now?
I am working at Knight Architects in the UK, designing bridges.

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