WARMING HUTS v.2021: AN ART + ARCHITECTURE COMPETITION ON ICE
*Winner of the 2020 National Urban Design Award of Excellence for Community Initiatives
Sasa Radulovic, Johanna Hurme, Kevin Loewen and Peter Hargraves, as young Winnipeg architects, huddled together on the pedestrian bridge at The Forks in 2009 dreaming of a project. As their idea grew, they recruited Richard Kroeker (Professor at Dalhousie University) and Antoine Predock (Architect of Canadian Museum of Human Rights). An idea was born that is now an international phenomenon, Warming Huts.
Scatliff Miller Murray Landscape Architects facilitated the design produced by Antoine Predock that first year and so began a collaboration between these groups that has resulted in 11 years of Warming Huts.
The Warming Huts have been with Winnipeg through polar vortexes, floods, thaws, everything in between, and now a global pandemic.
To celebrate the occasion, we have invited back the original band members to create new huts for Warming Huts v. 2021.
A companion piece to the original 2010 warming hut installation of the same name, Sunspot is a playful take on the natural sun glow familiar to our northern winter skies.
From above, Sunspot's magnetic profile dots the landscape; from the skating trail, it appears as a slivered orange bowl. Up close, visitors can climb into the giant disc and navigate it freely or by rope. Its surface is gently concave, comprised of layers of hot orange frozen in ice. A new horizon is visible once inside and naturally frames views in, out and up.
The curve of the bright rotunda insulates [users] against external sounds and results in an intimate, sensorial space that opens to the sky. Climbing, scooting and slipping across the Sunspot is highly encouraged.
701 Architecture and Price Industries
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
The confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers has been a meeting place for six thousand years. In the 18th century the Assiniboine, Ojibwa, Cree and Dakota peoples gathered seasonally and traded with early European visitors. The 19th and 20th centuries hosted the fur traders and the railway. In the 21st century we have met at the Forks Market, the CN Stage and Field, the Museum for Human Rights and we have gathered on the frozen river. In 2021 remaining apart will be a communal act of care for one another, while coming together will be an action fraught with a new and evolving relationship to the space in which we meet. Assembly lessens the distance between us.
Assembly is the fitting together of component parts of the object. Two intersecting 6’ x 6’ x 10’ volumes - each scaled for a single person - are constructed using prefabricated structural acoustic panels clad in G90 galvanized sheet steel on the exterior and dark perforated sheet steel on the interior. Moving around the cold, glossy exterior one catches glimpses of others along with a distorted reflection of the surroundings. Once inside, the darkened anechoic space puts distance between you and the outside world and places you face to face with another in the space between.
THE BENESII (THUNDERBIRD) Scatliff + Miller + Murray, Treaty One Development Corporation, and PCL Construction Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
The thunder reminds us of our thunderbird stories and how the thunderbirds keep harmony and balance in nature around us.
As nations come together in a treaty relationship we acknowledge that unity can best be achieved with a mutual respect for the land and water.
Thees rivers, and this land on Treaty #1 Terrirtory is where indigenous nations have met for thousands of years. These natural forms have been a part of the invisible realm of those gatherings on this site, showing up once again to inspire conversations about our relations to land, water, its first peoples and our treaties in the shelter of nature's form.
The design was conceived from the notion of the wings of the Thunderbird wrapping around those that choose to enter, providing them with protection and comfort from the elements. The creator gave birds wings and feathers to control the wind, in flight or in protecting and insulating the body of the Thunderbird when not in flight. Those that enter the warming hut symbolically become the body of the Thunderbird.
Thomas Cheney, Thomas Cheney Architects
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”
- Norman Maclean
Divergence celebrates the joy that ice skating brings through a series of playful deviations in the River Trail. Undulating curves and loops that flow like eddies in the river redirect the skater's orientation as they glide across the frozen water. The natural color of the ice shifts into a field of red, alerting the travellers to changes ahead.
Although more complex in layout, the fluctuations are created in the same manner as the ice skating path: hand shovelled, then reinforced with water from the river below, creating a suitable ice foundation to support the ice surface. The exception is an added red colour to highlight the intervention. The colour is formed with a non-toxic, biodegradable dye.
AtLRG Architecture Inc.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
A metallic glint on the white field of the river.
Approaching it, a sense of recognition - a silo roof? A sawdust burner? A buoy?
The familiarity fades upon closer inspection. A capsule? A vessel maybe, that appears to have arrived uncontrolled, accidentally.
A hatch opening reveals a wood-panelled interior with strange glyphs.
Is this a crash landing?
What lies beyond the brightly coloured porthole?
Were there (are there?) occupants aboard?
The HOT LANDING hut evokes a crashed vessel reminiscent of the NASA Apollo Command Capsule, though its quaint sauna-like interior stirs an uncanny sense of something familiar. The south-facing aperture is designed as a passive solar cooker, utilizing acrylic mirror reflectors, plastic fresnel lenses, and a concrete thermal mass. The operable porthole accesses a small insulated chamber that is tempered by the slow release of heat from the mass.
The adventurous river traveller may open the port to warm their hands (gloves or mittens required for health precautions!), and extend a warm welcome to another visitor…
Karina Leong & Jeremy Chan
Hong Kong & Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Inspired by the new normal of social distancing, Yöhäus encourages socially distant, outdoor fun for the community. Yöhäus or Your house is a portable snow hut mould that allows people to easily build their own snow hut. Limited interaction is needed as only one to three people are required to build each hut which comfortably shelters one person. Yöhäus’ three-step system consists of inserting snow into the hollow barrel, compacting the snow internally and then removing the mould. With three moulds present on site, different groups or individuals are able to build their huts simultaneously or even competitively. The portability of Yöhäus allows users to creatively build their snow hut cluster in different formations and at various locations. The charm of building with Yöhäus fully depends on the weather and snow while the snow huts already built are ephemeral and will be reduced to ‘ruins’ naturally; implying traces of who and what was left behind.