WARMING HUTS v.2013
THE FORKS, WINNIPEG, MB
THIN ICE is Public's proposal to construct a warming hut for ice skaters on the Assiniboine, the river’s town square. The submission proposed a place to rest out of the wind, a place to meet friends, to drink hot chocolate and roast marshmallows around an open fire.
THIN ICE crystalizes three interests: temporary structures, hybrid systems and civic form. During winter the Assiniboine provides an abundance of molten building mass flowing steadily below it’s insulating layer of ice. Instead of defaulting to a conventional ice compression structure such as an igloo, THIN ICE synthesizes mesh tarps with thin layers of Assiniboine ice to create an evocative and slender slab system.
The recognizable tent form evolves from a simple tension shelter to a composite structure only possible during the conditions of the winter festival. The absence of the poles and guy ropes typical of this typology invites the visitor to question their understanding of structural principles. Thin sheets of ice hang seemingly unsupported above the riverscape capturing the changing light conditions of the prairie sky.
Conceived of as an additive system, THIN ICE’s ribbon of shelters are frozen into a gradual arc, collecting space to create both intimate shelter and civic gatherings on the frozen river.