Forget about the hot-hot-hot weather that’s gracing London at the moment, these newly completed Winnipeg Skating Shelters by Canadian architects Patkau almost make you yearn for cooler times…no?
The temporary structures are designed to give relief from the harsh winter, which can last six months in North America’s coldest city. Placed along Winnipeg’s skating trails, the clusters of organic cone-shaped structures huddle together, facing away from the wind. Protecting one other in this group formation, the shelters have an abstracted resemblance to a group of penguins.
The plywood – which bends naturally – wraps around itself, providing a protective, enclosed and comforting shelter for its guests. Delicately perched upon the ice, the soft curves and gentle gracefulness of these forms contrast wildly with their more masculine, robust purpose.
‘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,’ say Patkau Architects.
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