New warming huts promise to heat up Red River skating trail
This year's warming hut competition winners boast beach-like vibes, sauna experience on the ice in Winnipeg
Six new warming huts are beginning to take shape at The Forks in Winnipeg as they move from concept to reality over the next week.
Designers and architects from around the world were busy sawing and chipping away at their creations on Friday. They hope to have the huts finished and moved to their locations on the Red River Mutual Trail in a week, along with 14 other warming huts from past years.
The Warming Huts Art + Architecture Competition has run for seven years. The 2017 winners were announced in November, chosen from nearly 100 entries from around the world.
Three hut designs were chosen by a jury from the international competition. The winners are from Nova Scotia, Chicago, and the Netherlands. A fourth hut was designed by world-renowned sculptor and artist Anish Kapoor.
This year's U of M entry took the concept of a warming hut most literally by incorporating actual heat. Their Warmhut design attempts to bring the feeling of a sauna out onto the ice.
"There's never been a warm sauna out here," said U of M student Dylan Hewlett. "There's never been a warm hut. They are called warm huts, they are warming huts, and they are always cold. That's ridiculous."
Another hut, called Greetings From Bubble Beach, takes inspiration from a snow globe but is filled with sun and sand.
"We brought the beach inside so people can see it when they are going down the frozen river. We thought it hopefully will warm them up a little bit," said Brad McCauley of Chicago's Site Design Group.
"We're going for kitschy. So you'll see palm trees and pink flamingoes and beach chairs and seashells and some kind of makeshift sand, stuff that won't melt the ice but will still look like the beach," he said.
Stackhouse is designed by sculptor Anish Kapoor. It's constructed by giant slabs of ice cut from the Red River. Luca Roncoroni, an ice-sculptor and architect, is helping build the massive ice hut.
On The Rails is a submission from Nelson McIntyre Collegiate student Sean Kohil, who combines his passion for trains and architecture to form a railcar experience.