Jovana Miletic | Architect | Think Space | Arctic Fire
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Think Space | Arctic Fire


Project is located on Jan Mayen island, in Norway. Jan Mayen is a volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean. It is 55 km long and 373 km2 in area, of which about 1/3 is cover with glaciers. The island is mountainous, the highest summit being the Beerenberg volcano in the north. Jan Mayen has a hyper oceanic polar climate. Temperature ranges from around 6 °C in August to−6 °C in February. The island was identified as an important bird area because it is a breeding site for large numbers of seabirds /Northern Fulmars, Little Auks, Thick-billed Guillemot and Black Guillemots…/.

This location is chosen because of its diversity of potentials. It is located near major north Atlantic trading routes, it is mountainous and mostly under glaciers and it has an interesting volcanic history. Of all arctic regions on our disposal, this one was the most interesting because of its potential for universal usage on other locations.



The concept of the project is to inverse our belief of what has to be static, and what is dynamic. Pylons are used as public spaces, points of interests, stops on a journey around the island. They are connected via system of cable railways, spanning the distance between the points of interest. Cable cars are designed to be small living spaces, equipped with beds, bathroom and small dinner/living space. For everything else occupants need to go out and use the pylons spaces. Each structure has standard utility areas, as well as some functions characteristic to that pylon, making it a unique ambient on the island. This creates a reason for people to travel around in their cabins/possibly during sleep/ and see what contents are offered in different pylons. And while they are exploring the pylon, their cable car /cabin/ would be waiting for them on the outer surface of the structure or, if they choose to use some alternative route to another pylon, it could travel there to wait for them.


The pylons on the island’s ground can be used as vantage points from which to observe multitude of arctic bird species located on the island or for starting points for guided walks through the arctic wilderness.


The pylons in the glaciers can be used as research centers /monitoring climate through ice layers, experiments with ancient water, bacterial contents, monitoring volcanic activity and sediments beneath the ice caps/ , domes beneath the ice can be used for multitude of activities /culture, entertainment, recreation, business …/ , spaces in the ice can be used for ice skating, ice climbing, snowboarding/bob racing trough the tunnels between the glacier pylons…


Some pylons located in the water can be used as docking stations for receiving tourists, material goods , refueling and waste disposal facilities, while others can be used as vantage points, for sea research, commercial diving, oceanic wildlife monitoring …Pylons on the cliff faces can be used as great vantage points, starting points for paragliding /other extreme sports that require height/ , for extreme climate rock climbing, for monitoring nesting birds…



Pylons are constructed from material called pykrete. Pykrete is a composite material made of approximately 14 percent sawdust or some other form of wood pulp /such as paper/ and 86 percent water / ice by weight. Pykrete is slightly more difficult to form than concrete, as it expandsapproximately 9% during the freezing process. However, it can be easily repaired and maintained using seawater and some form of wooden pulp. The mixture can be molded into any shape and frozen, and it will be extremely tough and durable, as long as it is kept around the freezing point.The durabilityof pykrete to crushing has been estimated at around 1,650 psi /11.4MPa/.


Pykrete is lighter than water, so it can be used for floating platforms. It is strong enough to be used as building material for tall structures /it has around 80% concrete strength to pressure , and is 4x stronger than concrete when subjected to tensile strains/ . The surface pylons are ventilated and cooled via tubes that go trough the ice below, so the structure above the ice is always at or around freezing point. And even if the parts of structure melt they can be easily repaired with some seawater and paper/wooden pulp. And when we want to dismantle the structures, all that we need to do is to let them melt /leftovers are water, some wooden pulp and metal that can be recycled / reused somewhere else/ .




Think Space, Croatia


Architecture & Research


Jan Mayen Island, Norway





Project team

Jovana Miletic / Miloje Krunic / Aleksandar Copic / Nikola Protic

Competitions, Urbanism