Warming Huts v.2012, an arts and architecture competition on ice in Winnipeg, Canada, recently announced the winners which demonstrate a collection of varying interpretations of shelter. Frank Gehry will design a hut made from large blocks of ice entitled, FIVE-HOLE. The blocks are slated to be shipped from Montreal especially for Gehry’s project. Three huts were chosen from over 40 other entries in the open design competition. The winning designs, WIND CATCHER, Ice Pillows, and ROPE Pavilion represent Norway, Czech Republic and New York respectively. The fifth and final hut, entitled HOTHUT, came from a call to University of Manitoba Architecture students who competed in teams for the final coveted spot. More images and information on the winning proposals after the break.
The concept for the Gehry Partners warming hut is an abstracted igloo comprised from chiseled blocks of ice, stacked and composed in a sculpturally casual way. The interior space, intended to contrast the exterior, provides a sense of warmth through the use of a Douglas Fir timber structure, timber benches as well as a central fire pit. It is intended that the warming hut reads like a crystalline structure during the day, gesturing out from its snow covered surroundings. During the evening, the warming hut would contrast its daytime persona, becoming a lantern drawing visitors in and marking a destination along Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail.
Wind Catcher is a simple (furniture-like) structure, a “hole in the wall”. The goal is to create a playful architecture, an object that stimulates curiosity, desire to interact and to discover. At the same time the weather, in particular the wind plays an active role with the architecture and to communicate with the public. This might be with sound, like a horn, or with “snow-formations” that build up around the hut, enlarging the physical space and making the hut constantly changing throughout the winter. The “hole in the wall” itself is also a toy/play-element, a photo opportunity framing people and landscape, a resting spot; with the swings hanging from the ceiling, this hut is a perfect entertainment area for the whole family. Strong colours emphasize the shapes and their functions, in contrast with the surrounding landscape.
This resting space for ice skaters extends the provision of mere shelter. Instead of adding a new structure to the landscape, the landscape is transformed into shapes which offer shelter, serving as an exciting extension to the river trail. The pillows are made with the help of bug-like looking pump and sprinkler system that is connected to a generator and a compressor. The pump punches a hole in the ice and sprays the icy river water over an air-filled silicone balloon to create the pillow extension. Once frozen, the silicone balloon is removed from inside the ice sculpture and used to create the next ice pillow. The pillows are placed with their entrances facing each other creating the look of a flower. Each can be climbed on or slid down, and offers a space to hide inside.
Through the combination of simple materials, ROPE pavilion creates a highly articulated form and space while nestling itself into the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail’s landscape. Its relationship of skin, made from manila rope, and structure, crafted out of birch frame, merge to form a warming hut whose dense shell blocks winter winds while still being perforated for light and views. The wood interior creates a sense of warmth through color and texture and its multi-layered rope exterior collects snow, further embedding it within the site. The hut’s dome-like form is optimized for heat retention, bifurcating only for an entry threshold and oculus to the sky above. ROPE Pavilion’s simple, yet highly refined tectonics provide an enhanced visual and tactile experience to those traveling down the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail.
Charged with the task of designing a space that is warm, low-cost and of a limited size, this warming hut is made entirely of foam. Providing more than just a break from the wind, HOTHUT is an exploration into foam’s inherent structural, visual and acoustic qualities by intensifying the hut’s social and cultural experience. Carved from a solid block of high-density foam, HOTHUT is a collection of body spaces that engage visitors. Experiences such as sitting, leaning, standing, kissing, looking through, meeting, stretching, resting, waiting are examples of what give HOTHUT form. HOTHUT playfully questions the relationship between empty and full, positive and negative, contained and exposed, generating spaces to rest and escape in ways that feel both inside and out.