This is our entry for the Warming Huts Competition, an annual open art and architecture competition where the entrants where asked to create shelters along a skating trail on the Assiniboine river in downtown Winnipeg, Canada.
We wanted to create a unique local invention generated on site by a limited set of tools by pure man power and with no harmful waste. The cold climate, the river and the great scale and variety of Canada became our point of departure in finding a suitable building technique. The key material for this project is reinforced ice.
Water is hand pumped on the site from the river and then reinforced and refined with organic materials taken from six different time zones of Canada into different blends of colorful ice-concrete. The technique of reinforcing ice with nature has been used by native people of America that made mixtures with sawdust and water to strengthen ice and make it more resistant to melting. These proposed structures can be made by two people without any energy consuming machines. The reinforcements will be a mélange of nature that colors water in a beautiful way, such as berries, flowers, vegetables and at the same time includes fibers that strengthens the ice constructively and also improves its melting time. The final result will be a cluster of six different ice tepees with six different colors of Canada, and on sunny days even with a scent when the sun melts the surface water.
When spring arrives, the tepees will gradually melt into each other and a blend of Canadian colors and scents will eventually be a part of the river.