National Urban Design Awards — 2020 Recipient | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

National Urban Design Awards — 2020 Recipient

The Warming Huts
Award Category: 
Community Initiatives

Lead Firm: Sputnik Architecture Inc. & The Forks Renewal Corporation
Completion: February 2019

Taking place in Winnipeg, MB, Warming Huts is an annual project that engages local and international designers, artists, and students each winter to design and create structures that are installed along with public skating and pedestrian trail on the ice of the city’s frozen rivers. Activating urban spaces in mid-winter, the project is an innovative and engaging example of urban design successfully bringing people together, from both Winnipeg and from all over the world. Visitors to the Warming Huts share in—and engage with—art, architecture, and culture in the public realm, and celebrate all that Winnipeg’s cold climate has to offer.

Jury Comment(s): 

"Originally entered in another category, the judges have awarded the Community Initiatives award to the Warming Huts (Winnipeg) as a great example of community collaboration and creativity.

“Led by Winnipeg design professionals, this initiative has had wide and ongoing community involvement as well as support from The Forks (a City- linked organization). This initiative has grown over time, involved many designers and artists, and drawn national and international attention to Winnipeg’s burgeoning design scene.”

"The transformative impact that the Warming Huts program has had in converting Winnipeg's rivers into an active winter civic space is impressive—even more so given its humble volunteer-based roots. In this regard, the Warming Huts program manages to successfully complement other river-related initiatives and generate a remarkable degree of community engagement since its inception. It also managed to engage and transform the broader public realm adjacent to the river corridors with the often judicious placement of the huts. The program’s scope is ambitious—giving Winnipeg significant international exposure."

Jury members

Click for full version: 
Exterior of Golden Bison

PHOTO: The Forks Renewal Corporation

Stackhouse exterior at night

PHOTO: The Forks Renewal Corporation

Removing corten formwork to reveal In The Light of Kudluk snow figures

PHOTO: The Forks Renewal Corporation

View overlooking Nuzzles installation along the river trail.

PHOTO: The Forks Renewal Corporation

Exterior of Hygge House

PHOTO: The Forks Renewal Corporation

Visitors enjoying the fire in Woodpile

PHOTO: The Forks Renewal Corporation