It's that time of year again — when the Warming Huts Competition winners are announced, that is. Every year, the competition invites architects around the globe to develop their most innovative warming-hut designs. With no theme for v. 2014, the competition was met with a variety of submissions.
The international jury chose three winners out of 190 entries. As for the other three: one hut was selected for a separate University of Manitoba competition; one from an invited local architect (Étienne Gaboury); another hut — soon to be determined — will become a class project for Kelvin High School’s drafting program.
NUZZLES by RAW DESIGN INC. - Toronto
"Imagine a series of glowing mounds on the frozen river landscape, each creating immersive layers of light, warmth and interaction. Inspired by the insulating properties of fur, NUZZLES brings a unique, engaging experience to the visitors of the Assiniboine River. Moving away from the introverted enclosure, NUZZLES exhibits a heated, lit core, encompassed by a multitude of insulated appendages which allow users to nestle into the structure."
"Constructed from a geodesic lattice of hollow aluminum tubing, and an outer layer of foam bristles (pool noodles), NUZZLES provides an inner layer of still air in order to increase heat capacity. Occupants are encouraged to playfully interact with bristles in order to sculpt informal seating or standing space as well change the lighting dispersions of the glowing structure."
Red Blanket by Workshop Architecture Inc. - Toronto
"Red Blanket will be a visual marker against the surrounding white winter palette. It will be seen by skaters far in the distance. First as a red speck, then, as you skate closer, you will see the dense fabric panels swaying under heavy winds. The wall of thick felt will be angled to protect skaters from the prevailing wind and provide a sunny spot. Each of the ten panels is sized to be the width and length of a single roll of bright red felted wool. A rod will be affixed at each panel’s top end and hung in two parallel lines from the underside of one of the bridges crossing the Assiniboine or Red River. The bottom ends of these monumental- scaled panels will act as a warm blanket for people to wrap themselves in, one or two at a time. Simple wooden benches will be slid into place by skaters as required to create different groupings from a single person lacing up their skates to a small group gathering to share hot cocoa."
Windshield by Kate Busby & Bella Totino - Vancouver
"WINDSHIELD is a five-metre tall wind vane that counters prevailing winds to protect its occupants. The vertical shelter is supported on a circular rotating steel base. Its modern aluminum frame and fabric skin are based on the tectonics of the early birch-bark canoes that would travel down the Assiniboine in the summer months. The light frame allows the shelter to adapt to changing wind pattern by rotating to protect its users from exposure to the elements. Fixed to the centre of the circular base a modified outdoor heat column serves both as hand- hold and a source of heat and light. The shelter stands proud as a landmark feature along the frozen river, inviting new visitors to test its wind breaking abilities and warm their mittened hands."
University of Manitoba winner: SKYBOX - Winnipeg
"SKYBOX creates the visual immersion of people against a background not normally considered, the sky. Winnipeg’s trademark aspect is its winter weather, and SKYBOX aims to create a mesh between the transforming weather conditions and the community. Purposefully placed reflective material covers the interior space to procure an illusion of the visitors sitting amongst the changing winter skies.
SKYBOX embraces the current generation’s fascination with social media by creating a photographic opportunity amongst the changing skies. Through the process of uploading images with the tagline #SKYBOX, Winnipeg’s community can interact with and promote The Fork’s Red River Mutual Trail on an international scale."
Étienne Gaboury's winner - Voyageur Hut - Winnipeg
"This warming hut celebrates the 45th season of the Festival du Voyageur; it is a mirthful evocation of the ‘courreurs de bois’. They relied primarily on clothes to warm themselves, wearing probably one or two pairs of pants, ‘long johns’, sweaters, toques, woolen socks, moccasins, and sashes wrapped around their waists. Recalling these habits and traditions are the inverted pants and sash. These are suspended by two helium-filled balloons; the lower one, a voyageur carrying a canoe, and the upper one, a floral form, all meant to create a festive setting visible from afar."
Images courtesy of Warming Huts competition v.2014.
Check out Bustler's previous articles on the Warming Huts competition.