Winnipeg Skating Shelters

by Patkau Architects
Winnipeg Skating Shelters Patkau Architects

Winnipeg is a city of 600,000 residents located on the Canadian prairie. It is the coldest city of its size outside of Siberia. Winter can last six months. So learning to celebrate winter - learning to take advantage of the opportunities that winter provides - makes sense.

The Red and the Assiniboine Rivers meet in the centre of the city, and in winter, when plowed of snow, skating trails many miles long are created. But with temperatures that drop to minus 30 and 40 for long periods of time, and winds that can make minus 30 feel like minus 50, creating opportunities to find shelter from the wind greatly enhances the ability to use the river skating trails. Therefore, a program has developed to sponsor the design and construction of temporary shelters located along the skating trails. Our proposal consists of a cluster of intimate shelters, each accommodating only a few people at a time. They are grouped in a small ‘village’ (or ‘herd’, or ‘school’, or ’flock’, or ‘flotilla’) to form a collective ... of ‘something’ ... irreducible to a single interpretation. They stand with their backs to the wind like buffalo, seeming to have life and purpose as they huddle together shielding each other from the elements.

Each shelter is formed of thin, flexible plywood which is given both structure and spatial character through bending/deformation. Skins, made of 2 layers of 3/16th inch thick flexible plywood, are cut in patterns and attached to a timber armature which consists of a triangular base, and wedge shaped spine and ridge members (the ridge is a line to negate the gravity loads of snow). Experiments in our workshop with a full-scale prototype mapped the stresses of bending. Stress points were relieved by a series of cuts and openings. The form of the shelter is a resultant of this process of stressing/deforming and then releasing stress.

Grouping the shelters into a cluster begins with the relationship of two, and their juxtaposition to qualify the size and accessibility of their entrance openings. This apparently casual pairing is actually achieved by a precise 120 degree rotation. Three pairs (one with mirror reflection) are then placed in relation to one another through a secondary rotation of 90 degrees to form the cluster and define an intermediate ‘interior’ space within the larger grouping. Together, the shelters create dynamic solar and wind relationships that shift according to specific orientation, time of day and environmental circumstance.

These are delicate and ‘alive’ structures. They move gently in the wind, creaking and swaying to and fro at various frequencies, floating precariously on the surface of the frozen river, shaking off any snow that might adhere to their surfaces. Their fragile and tenuous nature makes those sheltered by them supremely aware of the inevitability, ferocity and beauty of winter on the Canadian prairies.

Sponsor

Sponsor

  • Interno Fraciscio

    Interno Fraciscio

    The apartment had such height that the firm has decided to use to split the space.
    It was given a second wood  skin that gives a special atmosphere of uniformity.
    It...

  • Box House

    Box House

    Box house is a conceptual project that experiments with a new way to occupation of the space and form.
    It was born under the concept of pool house; which contains two bedroo...

  • Vacation House in Henne

    Vacation House in Henne

    This vacation house, located in Henne, Denmark, was designed by Mette Lange Architects. Overlooking a windy beach, the home provides a lovely view of the water. Vacation H...

  • Point Piper Residence

    Point Piper Residence

    A harbour front property with iconic Harbour Bridge views. This existing four storey house was stripped back to its concrete structure, remodeled and refurbished.
    The plann...

  • Miranova Penthouse

    Miranova Penthouse

    A 100-foot long wedge shaped triangular skylight releases the roof to the sky and floods the interior with natural light, balancing the two-story glass perimeter walls, and adding ...

  • Malibu Beach House

    Malibu Beach House

    Malibu Beach House, designed by Jamie Bush & Co., is located in the exclusive Cove Colony Drive off the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu Beach, California. The home is decorated mos...

  • The Willow House

    The Willow House

    The Willow House is a private residence designed by Guz Architects. Located in Singapore, it was designed with a young family in mind. The Willow House by Guz Arch...

  • Mercer House

    Mercer House

    The client purchased an existing run-down home with the intention of transforming it into a striking contemporary styled residence. Although unattractive to look at, the existing r...

  • F House

    F House

    Israeli architectural firm Alroy Hazak Architects has created the F House in Savyon, Israel. Completed in 2008, this 2,799 square foot contemporary house is a steel structure with ...

  • Menlo Oaks Residence

    Menlo Oaks Residence

    Menlo Oaks Residence by Ana Williamson Architect:

    At first blush, the existing house on this site in Menlo Park, CA was not worth saving. It had been a rental for ma...

Mit der Nutzung unserer Webseite, stimmen Sie der Verwendung von Cookies zu. Mehr erfahren.