Each year Winnipeg’s Red River Mutual Rivertrail is transformed by a series of site specific "Warming Huts" that bring life and refuge to what is the world's longest naturally frozen skating trail. The annual tradition’s popularity has grown exponentially, attracting participation from firm’s worldwide. This edition is offering visitors a highly acclaimed pop-up restaurant, a ski-through museum, and an eclectic collection of warm shelters, including a “hybrid” wood hut designed by Mexico’s Rojkind Arquitectos. You can see all eight completed installations, after the break.
Installation Winner: Recycling Words / KANVA (Montreal)
Recycling Words is an interactive art installation that assembles everyday objects and words to create a playful river narrative. Drawing reference to the physical and vocal exchanges that historically flocked the Red and Assiniboine rivers on canoe, Recycling Words offers a new cultural and social means of gathering along the Red River Mutual Trail.
Shelter Winner: The Hole Idea / Weiss Architecture & Urbanism Limited (Toronto)
The portable hole – first developed by Prof. Calvin Q. Calculus in the 1955 Looney Tunes animation, “The Hole Thing” and later sold by the Acme Company – has a troubled history... This installation takes as a starting point the portable hole, and by utilizing modern paint technologies, adds color... The large, bright and yellow 10’ diameter hole is horizontally located in a 35’ long snow drift and provides skaters a warm and sheltering burrow in the snowy river bank.
Shelter Winner: This Big / Tina Soli & Luca Roncoroni (Dorebak Akershus)
THIS BIG is the connection between two worlds: under and over the ice. We could say it is a “semantic installation” or a “social anthropological statement”, but it is actually an ice sculpture, a big toy.
By Invitation: The Hybrid Hut / Rojkind Arquitectos (México D.F.)
What is the use of contemporary technology if it can’t learn to grow with the processes already acquired by artisans and traditions? And how can an accomplished craftsman learn new process through technology. The Hybrid Hut creates a new hybrid through computer-aided design and traditional craftsmanship.
Warming Hut Additions: Mirror Cloaking / University of Manitoba (Winnipeg)
Using the concept of one-way mirrors and polished stainless steel panels to create a mirror box, skaters are intended to perceive the "Mirror Cloaking" as part of the winter landscape, yet closer inspection will find that the hut appears to reflect the surrounding. As skaters walk into the hut they realize that the one-way mirrors provide the precious scenery of winter. The design plays with the idea that the enclosed structure become transparent and visitors can still find warmth within an “open” space.
Warming Hut Additions: RAW:almond (Winnipeg) / OS31
The structure is expressed externally to allow that interior space to be clean and free of visual clutter. The external frame also gives depth to the architecture by creating shadows across the façades during the short days. The structure sits above the ice and the decked floor projects out of the restaurant towards the river bank to define an entrance. The entrance façade is presented as a white square containing a glowing triangle. This serves as a metaphor for the restaurant as a warm space within a cold form. Once the diners have entered a fabric curtain descends completing the white square and retaining the heat inside.
6043 / Kelvin High School (Winnipeg)
This installation takes inspiration from the iconic train at Assiniboine Park - CNR steam locomotive No. 6043 and the tradition of riding the rails during the great depression... When users sit in the hut they experience a similar viewpoint to those people riding the rails, looking out past the grill with tracks laid out in front of them. The structure itself is quite simple. Five monolithic faces intersect to create a well-protected meeting place. Users, young and old, will find the space both playful and reminiscent of days gone by.
Chris and Kine Art Gallery / Chris and Kine
This is the first ever art gallery on the Red River Mutual Trail, showcasing local artists' work.
Project descriptions courtesy of Warming Huts.