Public housing delivered in the Canadian Arctic has been ill-adapted to the social and cultural realities of Inuit communities
and to northern climate. Inadequate consultation has resulted in dwellings that fails to adapt to the needs of
growing families, impedes the ability of residents to engage in land-based activities, and is inappropriate for local climate.
This paper examines how a user-led, flexible approach can help tailor the design of new public homes to the
needs of the local housing authority and future occupants. Flexibility is incorporated into the pre-occupancy, postoccupancy
and refurbishment stages of the units life-cycle, ensuring that they can be easily adapted over time. A menu
of interior and exterior design components has been developed for selection by all stakeholders. The redevelopment
of Widow's Row, in Iqaluit, Nunavut demonstrates how appropriate design can play a pivotal role in addressing the
Keywords : Arctic, Prefabrication, Flexible Design, Public Housing.
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