Groenland Kangamiut – click any image for full size
Designed under the It All Starts With A Smile (IASWAS) banner, Groenland Kangamiut is a new region design by Kaelyn Alecto (TheNewKae). It is based on the physical world township of Kangamiut, located on a small island off the west coat of Greenland in the Davis Strait connecting Baffin Bay with the Labrador Strait.
“With its typical colourful houses, fishing harbour, ice landscapes, frosted atmosphere and the sound of the bitter wind,” Kaelyn says of the design, “We tried to be original and as realistic as possible, while keeping a small part of fantasy of course. Have fun!”
The village sits nestled in the arms of an inlet, almost fjord-like in its deep cut, a single channel of water pointing the way to the open sea – presumably the Davis Strait – to the west. The shops and houses rise up the lower slopes of the inlet in brightly painted tiers, crowned by a red-painted chapel. To the north, the valley wind onwards, its floor lifting above sea-level, snow-covered slopes caught between high shoulders of rock, disappearing in the distance.
The west side of the village is split between a busy group of wharves, warehouses and shops, bordered on either side by houses built out on slits over the water on either side, their large decks suggesting they might be summer holiday homes. On the north side, these give way to the spur line of a railway overlooking the frigid waters, a locomotive just emerging from a tunnel burrowing under the high cliffs behind the village.
Visitors arrive in what might be referred to as the village square – a cobbled surface in which sits a fountain. Snow swirls around the bricks of the pavement and between the painted houses on either side, as several routes of through the village offer themselves for exploration. To the north, the cobbled pavement lead to the busy waterfront. From here, where wooden walkways and stone steps climb the hill to the next level of the village, while a board walk runs along the northern shore to the little railway station.
Closer to the fountain, steps offer a short cut up to where a brick-paved footpath winds up through the houses, eventually reaching the little church up on its high look-out point. South of the landing point, meanwhile, the pavement gives way to a wooded trail. Snow-covered and winding through frosted firs trees to where a camp site looks out over cold, blue-grey waters to a cosy house sitting along on a rocky islets. A red barn-style bridge crosses a narrow stretch of water close by, a further trail on the far bank winding up the hill in an alternate route to the church.
This south path also offers one of the regions little quirks. While wolves reindeer and a polar bear – all common enough to the northern hemisphere – can be seen among the trees and out in the snow; this side of the region also has a little group of penguins sitting on an ice flow, an emperor penguin and her young watching them from the shore. Given their far more southern origins, the presences of these penguins might seem odd, but they are in keeping with the fantasy twists found in IASWAS designs. Equally, their appearance on the southern side of the region seems to be a subtle nod and wink to their more usual domain being the southern latitudes.
What I particularly like about Groenland Kangamiut is the way the east side of the region has been blended with the region surround, rather than leaving a watery gap between region and scenery. For me, blending region and backdrop in this was adds a level of depth to a design, by making them equal partners in a scene, rather than separate entities. This really gives the feel that the village is sitting on the edge of a rugged island, and thus a natural part of a greater whole.
Featured in the November 17th edition of the Destination Guide highlights,Groenland Kangamiut is a beautiful setting, and one well worth visiting.
- Groenland Kangamiut (Pryde, rated: Moderate)