Some places may seem straight out of a fairy tale, bu they exist in the real world. In some places, a blend of legends, landscapes, memories, creates something that cannot be described in words: something humans perceive but cannot express, something science explains but does not own. Rovaniemi is one of those places. Capital of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi is one of the few cities in the world located at a few kilometres from the Arctic Circle: legacy of people with colourful clothes and special traditions, reindeer farmers and sleigh builders. Rovaniemi is a place made of snow, perpetual dawns and dusks, and it is home to the dancing lights that shine in the sky during cold winter nights – the Aurora Borealis.
Home to Santa Claus- the Scandinavian myth that conquered the world through tales and folklore, the town of Rovaniemi had been considered inaccessible and remote for most of its history. Until last century, when it became the destination for visitors and tourists, who wanted to feel its magic and see the fascinating Northern Lights. Today Rovaniemi is no longer a prerogative of expert travellers and explorers, and new hospitality models are necessary in order to protect the remote identity of this land.
An identity that is characterized by primitive beauty and harmony, and inaccessibility and the absence of humans greatly contributed to its shaping. How can we make places like this accessible, as inaccessibility is a key part of their charm? What kind of accommodation facilities can combine hospitality and unspoilt nature? This is the challenge of Arctic Hotel, the competition organized by YAC and Rovaniemi to create a place where people can experience the most authentic North, respecting its isolation and magic.
On Ounasvaara Hill, overlooking one of the most remote bases ever built, architects will have the opportunity to imagine a structure that blends with the forest, the snow and the sky. A place where visitors can find shelter from the freezing temperatures of the Arctic Circle, gather around a fire, and enjoy the rarest and most mysterious spectacle of nature: the Aurora Borealis. For further information, please visit www.youngarchitectscompetitions.com.