Capturing the spirit of the annual Warming Huts design competition, Paris and Barcelona-based architecture firm Kilometrezero, or KM(0), has developed this conceptual project for a warming hut in Winnipeg. Fondly referred to as the "Valentine's Day concept" and aptly named KM(3) – Warming Heart, the project is intended as an inviting space for visitors to escape the winter chill between sports activities, and a symbolic structure that visually evokes the idea of warmth.
Working from the firm's interpretation of what defines a warming hut, the Warming Heart combines three key components: refuge, warmth, and rest. Aside from providing these basic necessities to ice-skaters, however, the reference to "Heart" in the project's name is derived from the association of a heart with warmth and coziness. To uphold this connection in its design, the Warming Heart strives to provide a place of rest and refuge, but with a cozy atmosphere that encourages guests to stay awhile. Additionally, "Heart" is a creative play on words, combining its structure (hut) with its sculptural quality (art).
Physically embodying a heart through its shape, the Warming Heart also embodies the concept in its technology. A hydraulic system of red hoses runs the height of the structure's wood frame and provides warmth for the people inside by being pumped with a heated anifreeze mixture, similar to a radiator. The pressure within the hoses can be increased to further remind visitors of a heart, as the hoses expand and contract in pulses, producing the structure's heartbeat.