The Warming Huts competition called for a collaboration between artists, architects and designers to put forward ideas for shelter and to be constructed along the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Noa Biran and Roy Talman submitted the Woodpile, an interactive and practical shelter, that responds to both the needs required by the climate and its users. More on this project after the break.
Woodpile responds to the most elementary of acts used for producing heat: a fire. The proposal serves as a space for the act, by providing material to burn and providing a space for that act. The hut’s walls are constructed as a spatial metal frame which contains firewood, which can be added and removed from the interior and the exterior through the slots in the frame.
The spatial qualities change as the seasons change. When wood is stocked for the coming cold weather and the walls are filled to their maximum with firewood, the hut is an enclosed space with little visibility and transparency. The cracks between the firewood, and the smoke that rises from the roof, can provide outsiders a peek into the campfire being held inside.
As warm weather approaches, the stock of wood will diminish and gradually reveal the interior spatiality to the outside. The metal frame will eventually be a naked construction whose interior spatiality will extend into the surroundings.