Winnipeg’s Cozy and Artful Warming Huts

Woodpile HutWood Pile Hut

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Skating on the frozen surface of the Assiniboine River, a popular winter pastime, will work up quite a chill.  Recognizing this, makeshift warming huts have long been used along the river to provide a temporary respite from the cold.  Several years ago (2010), a local art-and-architecture competition was started in Winnipeg to see how the simple warming hut might be creatively rethought.  The result has been an annual showcase of fun and function that does Winnipeg proud, as these images attest!  More about the warming huts can be found at the site for the annual competition.

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The-Hole-idea

The Hole Idea Hut

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Fir Hut

Fir Hut

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Five-Hole-Hut----Gehry-Part

The Five-Hole Hut

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Ha(y)ven Hut

Ha(y)ven Hut

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Hygge House Hut

 The Hygge Hut

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Ice Pillows Hut

Ice Pillows Hut

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Red Blanket Hut

Red Blankets Hut

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Rope Pavillion Hut

Rope Pavillion Hut

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Windshield Hut

Windshield Hut

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Image credits:   Warming Huts Competition Site

51 responses

  1. A geography professor of mine from Winnipeg liked to talk about the creativity of the architecture and design students at the University of Manitoba and said they were very ingenuitive when it came to eco-friendly structures. Your photos capture that same practicality and style: fight the cold, but still look attractive and unique. You must have near frozen while stopping to take so many photos!

    I’ve never been to Winnipeg, but one day I’ll visit the city instead of flying over it as most Canadians do on their way from the West to East or vice versa. Thanks for sharing these stunning photos!

    • I think extreme conditions (such as biting cold, of which Manitobans certainly have their share) bring out some of the best in people. Thanks for the comments on the photos, but, unlike many of the photos I post, those aren’t mine so I can’t take credit. I believe they were taken by the folks running the competition or are user submissions.

  2. I agree with Elaine. We left Winterpeg in 1966. This doesn’t look credible!

    Now, where are my skates, and I’d better book a flight to that exciting place.

  3. fantastic … !! i used to skate until the snot froze on my upper lip and my feet were so cold i had to walk home in my skates pretty much crying the whole way ….. those Ronson hand warmers fueled with lighter fluid didn’t work for shit …. but MAN did i love to skate … sometimes the streets would freeze and you could skate all over town … but not for long before the salt trucks came along … our pond was small …. yes … POND … a RIVER !!… i would have probably gone WAY past the half way point and not made it home until late at night … frozen snot with frozen tears … but thinkin’ about tomorrow already ….. thanks … ks

  4. Delightful post. The burst of color and life in these photographs is just lovely. The Hygge Hut catches my eye the most out of all these. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for this and interesting. I live in Calgary, Alberta and our winter temperatures do plunge down as low as Winnipeg’s at times — -30 to -40 degrees C. Just perfect shelters for dangerous cold!!

  6. These warming huts are fascinating. Living in Illinois in the US we don’t see the kind of cold that is experienced in Winnipeg but it’s nice to know that these huts are around should anyone need them.

    Best Regards,
    Eric

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