Casey Hughes Architects
Ice Hut


  • The ice covered netting exterior and interior skin of stretched fabric, creates a deep semi-transparent facade.
  • Winnipeg, Canada.
  • Ice Cave punctuates Assiniboine River trail, creating an ethereal shelter where people can gather protected from the elements. Inside the hut is a platform that changes in height and depth to accommodate different types of inhabitation (sitting, standing, reclining, etc.). Inhabitants are oriented towards the open middle of the hut, creating a sense of gathering and community, while experiencing the light filtering through the thickened façade.

    The building’s envelope is comprised of two layers creating a barrier from the elements and giving the hut a sense of deep transparency and mass. The outer layer is a thin shell of ice that is formed by applying water to rope netting. The interior layer is translucent tent fabric stretched over guide wires strung to the hut’s tubular metal frame. Together these layers block the winter wind and create an insulating air pocket. The ice façade allows diffuse light to penetrate the hut and links the hut to the wintery surrounding. The hut resonates with the Forks river context through the use of materiality (ice) and the winter images the hut evokes.
  • Water is applied to the exterior netting creating an ice shell exterior that insulates and block the wind.
  • ...with a pitched roof and insulated walls.
  • ...with a thick transparent facade and faceted geometry.
  • ...it uses ice as insulation, creating a cozy interior.
  • Plan showing the cave like interior with the seating platform that is open to the ground.
  • Section showing the cave like interior with the seating platform that is open to the ground.
  • Exploded isometric showing the building components.