Shoyna Dissected – Chests of Sand

Chests of SandThe project of the architect Jan Gunnar Skjeldsøy is a result of several travels to Finnmark and the Kola Peninsula, and more recently his visit to the remote village of Shoyna in the Nenets Okrug. Shoyna was founded in the 1930s by the fishermen and their families. An abundance of fish in the White Sea and the Shoyna river led to prosperity within the collective farm organized there, and by the 1950s some 1,500 people lived in there with a fishing fleet numbering more than 70 vessels. Shoyna became the new Murmansk. However as a result of the extensive industrial fishing and bottom trawling in the 1940-50s, Shoyna has turned into a Ghost of its past.

The project SHOYNA DISSECTED – CHESTS OF SAND is a research of possibilities for housing architecture in the demanding conditions dominated by sand and winds, as well as an alarming signal from the fragile Arctic nature. The project is also an attempt of accepting the nature of Shoyna. Can the predicted future of such a place become a discovery of a new start?

The project consists of large-scale drawings and models.


A pop-up architectural office run by Jan Gunnar Skjeldsøy and Stiv Kuling. This workshop-based office will develop models of housing suitable for Arctic climate conditions. The project is a comment to a generic housing development, and in the light of urgent need for habitation in continuously expanding Kirkenes, the project is highly relevant. Visitors are invited in for discussions, or simply to view the process and exhibition.

The project was presented at the festival exhibition Ticking Barents under Barents Spektakel 2013.

Send this to a friend