David Colussi and Helena Grdadolnik of Workshop Architecture are busy these days; they were declared the OAA Best Emerging Practice Award for 2013 and won an urban design award for their Green Line Ideas Competition, seen on TreeHugger here. They were also just chosen as one of the winners of the annual Warming Hut Competition, which invites architects from all over the world to submit proposals for warming huts, temporary structures built on the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg.
It's one of the world's biggest skating rinks and has become a major tourist attraction; they could have built cheap and boring warming huts, but instead "push the boundaries in terms of inspiration, design, and materials used."
Red Blanket will be a visual marker against the surrounding white winter palette. It will be seen by skaters far in the distance. First as a red speck, then, as you skate closer, you will see the dense fabric panels swaying under heavy winds. The wall of thick felt will be angled to protect skaters from the prevailing wind and provide a sunny spot.
Each of the ten panels is sized to be the width and length of a single roll of bright red felted wool. A rod will be affixed at each panel’s top end and hung in two parallel lines from the underside of one of the bridges crossing the Assiniboine or Red River. The bottom ends of these monumental- scaled panels will act as a warm blanket for people to wrap themselves in, one or two at a time. Simple wooden benches will be slid into place by skaters as required to create different groupings from a single person lacing up their skates to a small group gathering to share hot cocoa.
More on the other winners soon.