Warming huts in Winnipeg by Patkau Architects make a welcome shelter from the cold
While temperatures often fall to minus 12°C in Winnipeg during the winter, there are long hours of sunshine. Consequently winter sports are popular and, with ice often almost 250mm thick, there is frequently skating in the city at the Forks, situated at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
An annual design competition, advised by Richard Kroeker, encouraged architects to submit proposals for modest shelters where people can put on their skates and snowshoes before taking ice paths out along the frozen rivers. Patkau Architects, invited to prepare a design this year, proposed a series of warming huts that were clustered together on the ice. Huddled like buffalo with their backs to the wind, this group of sculpted structures, made from thin skins of flexible plywood, hint at the beauty of shelter, landscape and weather on the vast Canadian prairies.