patkau architects: winnipeg skating shelters
patkau architects: winnipeg skating shelters
may 18, 2011

patkau architects: winnipeg skating shelters

‘winnipeg skating shelters’ by patkau architects images courtesy of patkau architects / © james dow




canadian studio patkau architects has designed a grouping of temporary shelters to provide ice-skaters with relief from the harsh winter winds. a cluster of organic, cone-like structures, each accommodating only a few people at a time, gather in the center of the city where the red and assiniboine rivers converge. standing with their backs to the wind, the units develop a series of protective environments and interior spaces that shield ice-skaters from the fierce winds and temperatures, which can feel like minus fifty degrees celsius at times.

patkau architects: winnipeg skating shelters (left) the shelters are clustered together, their backs to the wind, on the snowy river (right) detail of bent plywood walls




each shelter, made from two layers of thin, flexible plywood, is given strength and structure through its characteristic bends and timber frame. inside, a timber floor and plywood seating engulf the visitor and aim to convey a sense of warmth and comfort. delicate and tenuous, the volumes move gently in the wind, creaking and swaying at various frequencies and appearing as though they are floating precariously on the surface of the frozen river. their fragile and destructible nature intentionally makes those who are inhabiting them supremely aware of the inevitability and ferocity of the weather outside.

patkau architects: winnipeg skating shelters detail

patkau architects: winnipeg skating shelters the cluster forms an area of secondary relief in between the group of huts

patkau architects: winnipeg skating shelters inside

patkau architects: winnipeg skating shelters looking through an opening in the ceiling

patkau architects: winnipeg skating shelters view of river

patkau architects: winnipeg skating shelters night view

  • Really great looking objects. Protecting from but also connecting with the power of nature. Would be awesome to be inside one with the wind howling outside.

    imprerssed says:
  • wow

    absloutely stunning

    dbkii says:

    MODERNDESIGN2120 says:
  • amazing
    we want them everywere

    david says:
  • So simple, graceful, seedlike- perfectly constructed with balance of all elements, including sound! But, uh, what happens when the ice melts?

    Anxiousannie says:
  • I don’t like ice skating but love these ones!

    Atelier Argos says:
  • Top notch design.
    next time show manufacture please.
    Love the holes, how did they do that?

    Dr L.S.Roberts says:

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