location: .Winnipeg, Canada
program: .Warming Hut
.............area: .275 sf
...........client: .Winnipeg City
Ice Hut 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 center 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 transparency and mass. The outer layer is a thin shell of ice that is formed by applying water to the 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 Winnepeg's Forks River context through the use of materiality (ice) and the winter images the hut evokes.