After a successful feasibility study, Arctic Memory is thrilled to announce the launch of a new visitor centre for arctic preservation—The Arc.

Located in the spectacular and unique landscape of Longyearbyen, Svalbard and designed by world renown architects, Snøhetta and expert experiential designers Tellart, The Arc will be an open, attractive and inclusive hub in Longyearbyen, where locals and visitors can learn and be inspired.

With collaboration from Piql, the Global Crop Trust and NordGen, the visitor centre will offer an opportunity to engage and interact with Svalbard’s preservation initiatives, the Arctic World Archive that aims to preserve the world’s digital heritage, and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault – the world's largest secure seed storage, via innovative, digital and virtual experiences shaped for the individual.

In addition, the visitor center will provide its audience with insights into how the Svalbard Archipelago's unique geology has transformed over millions of years, in collaboration with the Norwegian Natural History Museum.

Promoting sustainable tourism and experience in Longyearbyen, including autonomous transport to and from the city centre, The Arc has been designed to harvest solar energy and to ensure limited impact on the surrounding environment.

Managing Director of Arctic Memory, Katrine Loen Thomsen said that The Arc offers rich opportunities for the region and the public.

‘The Global Seed Vault, Arctic World Archive and Svalbard each hold fascinating stories, but these stories are unavailable to the public, packed between fossil layers and stored deep in the permafrost,’ she said.

‘The Visitor Centre will make these unique stories available in a new and innovative way - in a spectacular centre in a spectacular location’.

The project is now entering the professional implementation phase which includes final land and building approvals, further local engagement, and securing remaining investment.

All going to plan, the Arc will welcome its first visitors in 2022.