Manitoba

Pink showers and prairie sunsets: Winning entries unveiled in Winnipeg's warming hut competition

The yearly contest pits designers from around the world against each other to create huts for use on Winnipeg's river trail and at The Forks.

Whimsical entries will be joined by a U of M, Thunderbird House shelter for people experiencing homelessness

The top pick of the international public art competition at The Forks once again went to a duo from Drøbak, Norway. Luca Roncoroni and Tina Soli's 'Singin' In The Shower' hut became the pair's third winning entry. (The Forks/Twitter)

The winners of the 2022 edition of Winnipeg's annual warming hut competition will invite people to sing in a shower on a frozen river trail and take a moment to appreciate a prairie sunset.

The yearly contest pits designers from around the world against each other to create huts for use on Winnipeg's river trail and at The Forks National Historic Site that are both esthetically pleasing and can shelter visitors from the Manitoba cold.

This winners of this year's iteration of the open competition were announced Thursday. It asked for entries of a whimsical variety and got 100 submissions from 27 countries, The Forks chief executive officer Sara Stasiuk said at a news conference on Thursday.

"While the artists definitely look forward to the competition, we know that Manitobans also look forward to the warming huts each year," Stasiuk said. 

"It's become a tradition to come to The Forks and experience this world-class art and architecture. It's a way to celebrate and embrace our sometimes easy, sometimes tough Winnipeg winter, while we're enjoying public spaces and public art."

The top pick of the international public art competition once again went to a duo from Drøbak, Norway. Luca Roncoroni and Tina Soli's "Singin' In The Shower" hut became the pair's third winning entry, said warming huts production co-ordinator Peter Hargraves.

A conceptualization of the huts shows four individual showers enclosed in bright pink curtains scattered across the river trail.

"We all sing in the shower, and that feels good, liberating and funny," Roncoroni and Soli wrote in their entry. "We would like to invite people to do the same on the frozen river in the middle of winter."

An entry from a Brazilian group called Democratic Architects took the next prize, with a large yellow structure called "Sunset."

An entry from a Brazilian group called Democratic Architects was also among the winning entries with a large yellow structure called 'Sunset.' (The Forks/Twitter)

"No better shelter on a windy winter day than a warm hut that faces the beautiful sunset," the Sao Paulo group wrote in their entry.

The temporary installation will serve "not only to shelter visitors from the cold winds, but also to provide a place in which they can watch the beautiful Canadian sun setting."

The third winning entry came from artist Popper Zhu in Shanghai, China, with a soft, puffy yellow shelter with a green bird on top called "Warming Inflation Hands."

"When protecting small creatures, our hands always make this shelter shape. Confronted by the powerful nature [of things like] like ice and snow, we are just like the small bird in a human hand," he wrote in his entry.

Another winning entry came from artist Popper Zhu in Shanghai, China, with a soft, puffy yellow shelter with a green bird on top called 'Warming Inflation Hands.' (The Forks/Twitter)

The competition — now in its 12th year — will also see several huts from invited artists and community initiatives, said Hargraves, who is also principal of Sputnik Architecture.

That will include another entry from students at the University of Manitoba's faculty of architecture, who have partnered with Thunderbird House to design and construct a shelter for people experiencing homelessness in need of warmth, said faculty dean Mimi Locher.

That warming hut will be called "A Warmer Place."

Students in Frontier School Division's engaged learners program will also submit an entry called "Blossom."

And this year's final invited guest is children's entertainer Al Simmons. He and his son, Karl Simmons, will create a hut called "Sounds Crazy."

Simmons said he hopes their hut will remain for years to come, like many from previous years that have become favourites for people in Winnipeg.

"Some of them are famous in [and of] themselves. And it's just such an amazing thing that I am now going to be part of that," he said.

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