Celebrating its 13th year, The Forks is proudly announcing the winners of the Warming Huts competition which will be on the river trail.
October 4 marked the submission deadline for the Warming Huts v.2023: An Arts + Architecture Competition on Ice. A total of 122 submissions were received from 33 countries. Six winning designs were selected and will be joining old favourites on the Nestaweya River Trail and around The Forks site this winter.
"In its 13th year, the warming huts competition continues to attract excellence in art and architecture to our community from around the world, while celebrating world-class designs from artists and architects right here at home," says Sara Stasiuk, CEO of The Forks North Portage.
The winning designs were chosen by a jury with an anonymous critiquing process. Jurors did not know who the teams were or where they were from until after they have been selected. The jury contained of four founding jury members, three community guest jurors, and a student guest juror. A full day was spent discussing the submitted designs and deciding on the winners.
This year’s official competition winners are "Curtain" designed by Alejandro Felix (Barcelona, Spain) and Fang Cui (Shanghai, China); "Hayspace" by Philipp Gmür (Walenstadt, Switzerland) and Hugh Taylor (Winnipeg, Canada); and "Meanwhile We Still Dream" designed by Lindo Jia and Jaymon Diaz (Seattle, USA).
"Each year, the submissions we receive inspire us, and remind us of the importance of public art and public spaces in our community," says Stasiuk. "This year’s new huts embrace the elements, landscapes, and resilience of life on the Prairies – and a few of them even look warm!"
A highlight of the Warming Huts season has been the Invited Artist/Architect hut. Past guest architects include Anish Kapoor and Frank Gehry, and guest artists include Tanya Tagaq, Terje Isungset, Royal Canoe, and most recently, Al Simmons.
This year, Winnipeggers will see another hut from an Invited Artist team from their own community, Wanda Koop and Thom Fougere, they are, however, currently based in Montréal. Their hut, "NIX" was inspired by Winnipeg's winter beauty.
"NIX means snow in Latin. Constructed entirely in snow, we are interested in the work’s relationship to light, to the landscape, to figures on the river, to the city beyond, to the ephemeral nature of winter. A series of carved portholes are carefully positioned along the perimeter of the immersive sculpture to frame dreamlike vistas of the snow-covered river," says Koop and Fougere in a combined statement.
Something newer to the Warming Huts competition is the funded school program, which is open to all secondary schools in Manitoba. A group of students from St. John's High School was this year's selected participant. Their hut, "Ashe'o" means "to paddle backwards" in Ojibwe.
"The students decided to enter the warming huts competition as a way to demonstrate their skills as woodworkers, share a piece of history, and engage the community with a piece of art that everyone can enjoy," says St. John’s High School woodworking teacher Aaron Cyr. "With this project, students will explore the significance and history of their design, as well as envision themselves as the architects, designers, artists, and community leaders of the future."
The Faculty of Architecture from the University of Manitoba is also participating in the competition with its design, "Flowing Lands" which reflects the fluid motion of a prairie winter.
"The Faculty of Architecture is excited to participate in the warming huts competition and to support Winnipeg’s robust culture of art and design,” says Mimi Locher, Dean, Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba. "This year’s project, called “Flowing Lands,” will engage the community with structures that emerge from the frozen river and interact with the wind to capture the dancing snow that falls from the winter sky."
Construction of the Warming Huts v.2023 will begin at the end of January, with the winning teams all gathering in Winnipeg to build their designs, connect with each other and engage with the community.
The plan is for the new huts to be placed on both the Nestaweya River Trail and in Arctic Glacier Winter Park along with the return of huts from previous years.
More information about Warming Huts: An Arts + Architecture Competition on Ice can be found on its website.