Manitoba

Winning designs unveiled for Winnipeg's 2015 warming huts

Every year since 2010, architects from around the world compete to have their design selected for construction.

Winning designs unveiled for Winnipeg's 2015 warming huts

8 years ago
Duration 1:59
It's cold outside, but not quite cold enough for the newest warming huts set to hit the skating trail at the Forks in Winnipeg this year.

It's cold outside, but not quite cold enough for the newest warming huts set to hit the skating trail at the Forks in Winnipeg this year. 

The winning designs for the latest warming huts that will dot Winnipeg's river trail were unveiled today. 

Every year since 2010, hundreds of architects from around the world compete to have their design selected for construction.

"We've always received great designs, but this year they really pushed the artistic envelope," said Paul Jordan, chief executive officer for the Forks Renewal Corporation.

"More and more, we've seen the designs resemble less of a hut and become more about attention to design and detail."

Construction on the winning designs will begin in the new year. The huts will be placed along the trail once the rivers freeze and the trail opens, usually sometime in January.

Winning Designs 

This year submissions could be made in two categories: either a shelter or an installation.

The three winning bids this year were: 

  • Recycling Words, designed by KANVA Architecture from Montreal 
  • The Hole Idea, designed by Weiss Architecture & Urbanism Limited from Toronto
  • This Big, by Tina & Luca Roncoroni from Drobak, Akershus​, Norway

Peter Hargraves with Sputnik Architects, who helped coordinate submissions, said there were some very whimsical ideas this year.

The Hole Idea is inspired by old Road Runner cartoons. The installation will include a giant culvert covered in snow that is painted on the inside.

"Wile E. Coyote; using the black dot in the road to try and catch the Road Runner," said Hargraves. "They took it and they turned it into sort of a technicolour version of that. So, the idea is there's going to be these holes that you can drop into and play in."

Recycling Words involves 50 chairs with skis attached that will be left along the trail.

"Sit down and tie your skates and then when you finish tying your skates you can get up and push the chair around," said Hargraves. "You can push ... grandma or grandpa around on the chair or just learn to skate if you're four-years-old."

The University of Manitoba's faculty of architecture will also submit a hut.

Entitled "Mirror Cloaking," the U of M hut will reflect the outside scenery around the hut. But once inside, people will be able to look through the walls and see people unknowingly peering back at them, looking at their own reflections.

"It is a great opportunity to underscore the fundamental inter-relationship between design and environment in a prominent location celebrating both Winnipeg and Manitoba," said Ralph Stern, dean of the faculty of architecture.

Students from Kelvin High School also submitted a designed based on the tradition of riding the rails during the great depression and the iconic CNR train at Assiniboine Park.

No decision has been made yet on the length of the river trail but, weather permitting, it may be open the third week of January.

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