Anish Kapoor creates warming hut for Winnipeg river trail

World-renowned artist Anish Kapoor, whose sculptures are in public places around the globe, is creating a warming hut that will be featured this winter along Winnipeg's river trail.
Anish Kapoor's Stackhouse will be one of the warming huts along Winnipeg's river trail in 2017. (The Forks)

World-renowned artist Anish Kapoor, whose sculptures are in public places around the globe, is creating a warming hut that will be featured this winter along Winnipeg's river trail.

Kapoor, best known for his large-scale public projects, including Chicago's Cloud Gate, is designing a piece made entirely of ice blocks called Stackhouse.

Inside Anish Kapoor's Stackhouse. (The Forks)

The Forks announced the winners of the 2017 Warming Huts Art + Architecture Competition on Tuesday.

"This year we saw close to 100 entries from all across the globe, including China, Panama, Sweden and Australia," said Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks Renewal Corporation.

"The competition attracted fantastic designs, and narrowing it down to the top three was difficult for the jury."

All submissions were reviewed by a blind jury, whose members had no background information on who submitted the designs or where they were from. The jury, made up of experts in the arts and architecture world, chose three winning huts — Ice Lantern, Open Border, and Greetings from Bubble Beach.

  • Ice Lantern — Lisa Tondino, Alexandra Bolen, Mathew Rodrigues, Drew Klassen (Nova Scotia)
Ice Lantern (The Forks)

Ice Lantern is composed of two main parts: a lantern hovers above the snow while an igloo snow mound provides a gathering place with wooden bench seats. Open ventilation at the top of the lantern invites users to gaze up to the stars and clouds.

  • Open Border — Joyce de Grauw, Paul van den Berg (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Open Border (The Forks )

Open Border is a straight, red wall running perpendicular to the skating trail, contrasting with the white landscape. The wall creates a strong visual border but can be passed through at any point. Open Border also has a narrow interior space where visitors can take shelter and warm up.

  • Greetings from Bubble Beach — Team 888 (Chicago)
Greetings from Bubble Beach (The Forks)

Modelled after an inverse snow globe, Bubble Beach is a transparent geodesic dome with colourful panels, set on a wooden pedestal base. Once inside, the dome provides shelter and a reminder of summer with deck chairs, a palm tree and a sand-like ground layer sprinkled with festive flamingos.

Kapoor's entry is the annual invited submission, while two local huts will come from the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Architecture and from Nelson McIntyre Collegiate students.

The U of M's entry, Warmhut, is inspired by saunas, an important part of the culture of northern people.

"The faculty of architecture is once again very excited to be part of the Warming Huts tradition," said Jonathan Beddoes, interim dean of the U of M's Faculty of Architecture. "We believe that the opportunity provided to our students by being part of this design-build collaboration provides a highly unique educational opportunity to enhance what is taught in the classroom; we are once again thankful to The Forks for allowing us to be part of this exciting event."

As part of the Propel Program at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate, high school student Sean Kohil will bring to life the history of The Forks site during the railway era, states a news release about the warming huts. He has worked on the design, On the Rails, during the past year and will build it over the next few months.

On The Rails (The Forks)

Crokinol + curling = Crokicurl

In addition to the warming huts, crokicurl is coming to The Forks this winter.

Created by local design studio Public City, crokicurl combines two iconic Canadian pastimes — crokinole and curling — in a life-size game.

More information about how to participate and play will be released later by The Forks.

As well, the popular restaurant on ice will return. Just where it will go depends on Mother Nature.

Mild temperatures forced RAW:almond to shift the restaurant to solid ground last year. 

Construction of the huts and restaurant will begin in early January and, weather permitting, they will be on the river trail until the last week of that month.

Several huts from previous years will also be brought back to join the new ones.


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