In only four short years, Warming Hut's - An Art+ Architecture Competition on Ice has become a internationally-recognized annual design competition, drawing close to 200 submissions each year. This is why, when my team got a phone call last October to let us know that we were one of this year's competition winners, we couldn't quite believe it.
Design competitions have always been a great way for designers to exercise their skills and share ideas. As a young architect, the Warming Huts competition is an invaluable opportunity to design outside of the conventions of a paid architecture practice. And, with the competition's requirement to work with an artist - it pushed us to work with an outside creative force.
In early autumn, Michael Thicke, my architecture teammate and fiancé, suggested we enter the competition. My mother, Bella Totino, a graphic designer and fine artist in Alberta, joined the team as well. Michael and I live in British Columbia, so we worked on the project with my mother remotely, over the phone and videochat, to come up with the final design for a unique Warming Hut that would move in the wind. In late
September, we sent our submission off.
Which brings us to the phone call in October, that let us know that our Warming Hut design would be coming to life and that we would be invited to Winnipeg in January to see our work make it's way on to the frozen river. We immediately set to work, advancing our initial design into a set of working drawings from which the hut could be welded, printed and sewn. We worked with an incredible team at The Forks and with our liaison Joshua Adria at Sputnik Architecture to get the design built.
In late January, we made our way to Winnipeg to see the final result of our design for a five-meter tall sail-like weather vane. It was evening and -30C when we arrived in Winnipeg. The following morning wasn't much warmer, but looking to explore The Forks and see our hut, we made our way to The Forks Market courtyard. The hut seemed larger and more strikingly colourful than we could ever have imagined. It was beautifully built and to our excitement (and relief) it worked really well, rotating smoothly to protect
it's users from the cold, prevailing winds. The first moment we saw it move on it's own in the breeze, we couldn't help jumping up and down, hands in the air, shouting 'It's working! It's really working!' After months of work and anticipation, it was a really great moment.
Two days later, we watched as The Forks crews moved the hut out to it's home for the next few weeks, below the Osborne Bridge on the Red River Mutual Trail. We skated out to the hut, to watch it being used on the frozen trail as we had only imagined it three provinces away several months before. We are so thankful to The Forks for such a memorable adventure.
'Windshield' Warming Hut designer 2014
Monday, 24 February 2014
Thursday, 13 February 2014
Tucked away in The Forks Market is the iconic yellow canopy of Almond Tree. Almond Tree is celebrating its 25th anniversary with The Forks and we took a look to see what Valentine's Day goodies they have to offer.
Exquisite chocolates is a classic Valentine's Day gift. Almond Tree carries a wide selection of Leonidas Belgian Chocolates. There is a huge variety of styles, flavours, and some chocolates you've probably never heard of before. If you really want to impress these chocolates are show-stoppers.
|Leonidas chocolate displays at Almond Tree|
|Chocolates within chocolate!|
A couple of tourists taste testing Almond Tree's Leonidas chocolates. One of the chocolates they bought was Cognac flavoured. Brandy and chocolate... it doesn't get much better than that!
|Sesame, Spicy Pumpkin Seed, and Cherry-Coconut Brittle made right here in Winnipeg.|
Is your sweetie sick this Valentine's Day? Help soothe his/her aching throat with some yummy Raspberry Drops. Conveniently priced at $1.77.
Almond Tree has almost every flavour of European Ritter Sport chocolates. Ritter Sport mix-and-matches different types of chocolate with interesting fillings. Our favourite is the orange package (Milk Chocolate with Neapolitan Wafers). At the low price of $3.50 you can buy one for yourself AND one for your sweetheart.
PS- kids love these chocolates too!
Sometimes chocolate isn't the way to someones heart. But that's okay! Almond Tree has a huge selection of candy, nuts, dried fruit, Jelly Belly, fudge, and even PEZ Candy.
|These dispensers are only $3.95. Great for kids!|
|The biggest Oreo ever! Oreo Cookie Fudge|
The Forks is a great place for a last minute Valentine's Day date. Any Valentine would be impressed with the large selection of food vendors, restaurants, shops, and activities. Don't forget that many of the stores at The Forks Market carry one-of-a-kind jewelry just in case she's dropped a couple hints. Take a romantic skate down the Red River Mutual Trail then warm up inside with Mini Doughnuts and a trip to Almond Tree.
|Make sure you visit the most romantic Warming Hut called Nuzzles|
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
February 14 to 17, join us at the Rendez-vous on Ice on the Red RiverMutual Trail, where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet, to celebrate Manitoba’s French heritage in style! There are many fun activities lined up for the first weekend of the festival that will keep visitors entertained at the Forks.
Come on down in the evening of February 14 and take part in the Torchlight Walk presented by Manitoba Hydro. Join the cheerful crowd as they walk from the Rendez-vous on Ice to Voyageur Park for an exceptional stroll lit by hundreds of candles and torch lights.
|(photo credit: Winnipeg Free Press)|
Fashionistas will get a nice treat on February 16 during the Fashion on Ice fashion show. This spectacular outdoor fashion show will be presenting winter looks by local retailers and fashion designers. A truly unique event you will not want to miss.
Let’s not forget Family Day! Taking place on Louis Riel Day (February 17), it will feature free games, activities and adventures for the young and old alike!
And in case you get thirsty or hungry, we will be offering drinks in our outdoor bar as well as delectable French-Canadian cuisine.
See you there! For more information, visit www.heho.ca.
~Jean-Luc LaFlèche, Communications Assistant, Festival du Voyageur