Yaktusk Museum of the Mammoth

Yaktusk Museum of the Mammoth

Yaktusk, Russia

CLIENT Yaktusk / STATUS Competition Winner 2007 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Leeser Architecture

The Museum of the Mammoth sits on a vast, flat site on the edge of Yakutsk in eastern Siberia. The view across the site is brilliantly interrupted by the rise of a hill, the Tchoutchour Mouran. This natural folding of the land is where a new Museum hovers. Taking cues from the upturned ground, a box- the most simple, compact, and efficient of containers- rises in emulation of the angle of the hill.

The site design itself takes cues from the regional landscape. Based on patterned ground formations that occur above permafrost, the landscape design is both aesthetically and ecologically reminiscent of the natural patterns found near Yakutsk. The difference lies in the soils; the Museum site is likely artificially filled and may not behave as natural soils do. The imposed pattern is therefore adaptable to change over time.