Project 11

Christoph Kapeller

For his Polar Lab residency, architect Christoph Kapeller took a small plane across the Brooks Range to the Itkillik River to study a prehistoric ice formation called a Yedoma. Yedoma is a type of Pleistocene-age (formed 1.8 million to 10,000 years before present) permafrost that contains a significant amount of organic material with ice content of 50–90% by volume. Thawing yedoma is a significant source of atmospheric methane which accelerates climate change. Kapeller also visited the permafrost lab and interviewed scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Christoph Kapeller is a Los Angeles based architect and founding partner of the Norwegian architecture firm Snohetta. He was awarded First Prize in the international competition for the Bibliotheca Alexandria, the new library of Alexandria, Egypt in 1989. During the course of the project, Christoph spent eight years in Egypt overseeing the design and construction of this world-renowned $200 million project. Since his relocation to Los Angeles, his firm has won numerous prizes and awards in international design competitions. Kapeller received his Dipl. Ing. of Architecture in Graz, Austria and his Master of Architecture at the University of Southern California in 1986. In addition to his professional practice, Christoph Kapeller has lectured, written and published a number of critical articles, and has been a member of the design faculty at the University of Southern California School of Architecture.