The Forks Foundation has reopened its annual international contest for a series of $16,500 (CAN) art installations in Winnipeg, Canada
Open to all architects, landscape architects, designers and students, the open anonymous competition seeks ‘creative, original and durable’ proposals for temporary winter warming huts or art installations suitable for the Manitoba city’s cold winter.
Three winning designs will be constructed on prefabricated skids and anchored on ice at the meeting of the Red River and Assiniboine River along the Red River Mutual Trail in an area known as ‘The Forks’ early next year.
According to the brief: ‘Warming Huts is an open competition, supported by the Manitoba Association of Architects. Once entries are submitted, a blind jury selects designs that best “push the envelope of design, craft and art.”
‘Nearing the end of January, competition winners travel to Winnipeg to begin construction on their warming hut. The weeklong building blitz gives designers a chance to watch their vision come to life while allowing the public to watch them at work. Warming huts are then brought out to the Red River Mutual Trail for visitors to skate to, interact with, and enjoy.’
Winnipeg – which means ‘muddy water’ in Cree – has been an important trading centre for thousands of years and is often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the West’ due to its many railroad connections.
Formerly an ancient meeting place for aboriginal people, The Forks has now become an important tourist destination receiving four million visitors every year. When frozen over in the winter, the nearby river is also used as an alternative route into downtown Winnipeg by users of bikes, skates and skis.
Founded thirteen years ago, the Forks Foundation is a local charity working to promote heritage, culture, arts, recreation and other activities in the 5.5 hectare waterfront area which is close to the Winnipeg Railway Museum and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
The annual competition – launched in 2009 and supported by Peter Hargreaves of local firm Sputnik Architecture – aims to transform the frozen river surface next to the 6,000 years old meeting place into a new architectural focal point for the city.
Last year’s winners included an installation called Stackhouse by London sculptor Anish Kapoor and Open Border (pictured) by Joyce de Grauw and Paul van der Berg from Rotterdam. Winners of 2015’s Warming Huts contest include UK-based OS31, whose pop-up restaurant hosted Winnpeg’s RAW:Almond outdoor fine-dining festival.
Proposals are encouraged to consider solar radiation, wind chill, and the constantly shifting landscape of the snow covered river where the ice can thicken to 1 metre deep.
Participating multi-disciplinary teams must possess a ‘proven portfolio of design work’ and include an artist and a member of a recognized architectural association.
Digital submissions should include four A4 pages of team information and two A3 boards outlining the conceptual proposal. Three winning teams – set to be announced on 2 November – will receive $3,500 and be invited to develop technical drawings for the construction process.
A budget of $7,500 is available for materials; $4,000 for labour costs; and $1,500 for construction management which will be arranged by The Forks Foundation. A further $1,000 is available for each team’s accommodation expenses and $2,500 for airfares.
The Forks Renewal Corporation will provide a construction team and project manager for each structure. The winners will be invited to Winnipeg to help construct and install their finished structure.
The winners will furthermore participate in a series of events including a party, talks, design studio critiques and a hockey match once the structures open in late January next year.
The deadline for submissions is 2pm local time (CST) on 3 October.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information
The Forks Foundation
259-393 Portage Avenue