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Taking a look at the new Warming Hut winners

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An eagle, a salute to dim sum and a wintery take on Stonehenge are just some of the new warming huts set to adorn The Forks’ Nestaweya River Trail in the new year.

The structures were selected as part of The Warming Huts v.2024 Architecture Competition.

Started in 2009, the contest puts out a global call for unique and mind-bending designs where visitors to the river trail can warm up and marvel at creativity and architecture.

“These huts are designed and built by people for people. They're plunked down on the river to be explored, admired and enjoyed by anyone and everyone,” said Sara Stasiuk, CEO of The Forks North Portage at a news conference Thursday.

This year’s competition had over 200 submissions from around the world, judged anonymously by a jury.

The winning entry "Murky Waters" by Christopher Loofs, Jordan Loofs, and Kaci Marshall is shown in a design rendering image. (Source: The Forks)

The winning submissions this year are “Murky Waters” designed by Oklahoma City’s Christopher Loofs, Jordan Loofs, and Kaci Marshall, “Spinning Dim Sum” by Verena Nelles Kempf from Switzerland and Ilga Nelles of Germany, and “Sublimation,” which was designed by Francisco Silva and Barbara Stallone from France and Alexander Pollard from England.

“This year’s new hut designs are again unique, very diverse. Each hut has its own meaning and tells its own story.”

"Sublimation" is designed as a pavilion forming a beacon in nature, embodying "an intrinsic, distilled beauty." (Source: The Forks)

Joining the pack is a team of invited artists featuring Wayne and Jordan Stranger, a father and son duo from Peguis First Nation.

Their design titled “Circling Above Us” is inspired by an eagle which holds special meaning for the Stranger family.

“They’ve always shown up in times of need, in times of pure joy, times of change. With this warming hut, that’s exactly what eagles bring – love and warmth,” said Jordan Stranger.

“The idea is to have that eagle wrapped around the people that enter, and have that fire pit to keep them warm.”

"Circling Above Us" was designed by father and son team Wayne and Jordan Stranger. The eagle is meant to create a safe space with good energy, serving as a reminder of the effect of the environment. (Source: The Forks)

A submission by the next generation of potential artists will also take shape on the river trail. École St. Avila School’s submission “Amisk” is this year’s winner of the school program, which will be made from materials found in nature, and invites users to learn about Turtle Island and the importance of the beaver.

“We want the project to be accessible to all ages, and we are looking to create a hut where families can enter, warm up, and self-educate," said École St. Avila School teacher librarian Tytanya Fillion, who lead the project.

"When it was announced that Amisk was chosen, everyone cheered, and from that day we’ve all been a part of team Amisk.”

École St. Avila School's submission "Amisk" is shown in a model created by students. (Source: The Forks)

Rounding out the group – the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture’s design titled “Ice Henge,” billed as a snowy take on Stonehenge.

“In a world hurtling towards hyper-connectivity and simultaneous disingenuity, we seek to counter this trend by creating an intervention that combines warmth, and joy in a juxtaposition of the ice and landscape,” said team member Kyra Kwiatkowski .

Build week for the six new huts will happen at the end of January, with winning teams converging in Winnipeg to bring their designs to life.

The huts will be placed on both the Nestaweya River Trail and in the Arctic Glacier Winter Park, along with returning huts from past years.

The University of Manitoba's Faculty of Architecture's submission "Ice Henge" seeks to enhance the existing ice and snow environment. (Source: The Forks)

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