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Winnipeg’s Warming Huts Competition Issues Call for Proposals


August 18, 2017
by Canadian Architect

Three teams will be selected as winners of the Warming Huts  Arts + Architecture Competition on Ice from submissions of designs for a warming hut or art installation. Winning entries will be placed along the Red River Mutual Trail located on the Assiniboine and Red rivers in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A jury will select the winning designs based on their creativity in use of materials, providing shelter, poetics of assembly and form, integration with the landscape, and ease of construction.

Site — The huts or installations are placed along the Red River Mutual Trail at The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Forks is located in downtown Winnipeg, at the junction of the Red River and the Assiniboine River. The intersection of the two rivers historically has made the area a popular meeting place for over 6,000 years. In recent times, the site has developed into a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, with over four million visitors annually.

In winter, the rivers are also used as an alternate route to access downtown by foot, bike, skates and skis. There are opportunities for curling, hockey and much more. With many access points, the Red River Mutual Trail, is a link between communities in Winnipeg. The Red River Mutual Trail is regularly groomed and monitored for any safety concerns. There will also be extra security at night in an attempt to prevent people from loitering or damaging the huts. Teams are encouraged to engage the effects of solar radiation, wind chill, and the constantly shifting landscape of the snow covered river. The depth of the ice on the Assiniboine and Red River at the end of January can be as deep as 1 meter thick.

Warming Huts Banner, image via Warming Huts

Warming Huts Banner, image via Warming Huts

Competition Jury — The jury reviews every project and through a process of elimination selects ten projects for scrutiny. From the list of ten finalists, the top five will be ranked in order and the three highest ranking projects will then undergo a technical review. Based on the outcome of the technical review, the winners will be declared. NB: Team information is not provided to the jury until after the projects are ranked. This is referred to as a “blind” jury. Winning entrants will be notified and requested to develop construction drawings for submission to a technical committee. Design development will involve input from the technical committee to ensure that construction is feasible and within budget.

Project Delivery — The Forks Renewal Corporation will provide construction teams, directed by a Project Manager hired by The Forks to construct and fabricate the winning projects. Teams are asked to submit final construction drawings at the beginning of November in order that the construction teams may begin the fabrication process as early as possible. Winning teams will be invited to Winnipeg help complete their projects and install their project on the Red River Mutual Trail.

Eligibility for the 2017 Competition — The call for entries is open to all architects, students of architecture, landscape architects, interior designers, artists and industrial designers who have a proven portfolio of design work. It is the intention of this competition to foster and encourage the formation of multi-disciplinary teams.

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Several days of activities will be planned around the celebration of the new huts with the design and construction teams. These events include speaking engagements, to both members of the public and students at the University of Manitoba School of Architecture, a game of shinny hockey at the Forks against local architects, a field trip to Lake Winnipeg, and a party hosted by the Forks celebrating the winning teams. These events are intended to provide the opportunity for visitors of The Forks to engage directly with the design teams. Members of the design team will be expected to meet with media and explain their designs.

Deadline for Submission —The deadline for submission to the Warming Huts Competition is Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 2:00 pm CST. More information is available via the official Warming Huts website, linked here.