Gallery: Winnipeg Ice-Skating Shelters Mimic Buffalos Bracing Against T...

With its winters lasting as long as six months, Winnipeg's residents look to the ice for their entertainment.
With its winters lasting as long as six months, Winnipeg's residents look to the ice for their entertainment.

Ice skaters may soon take refuge from Winnipeg’s cold in these awesome plywood shelters designed by Patkau Architects. Siberia is the only city on earth more frigid than Winnipeg, but that is not enough to prevent intrepid residents of the Canadian city from skating on miles of the iced-over Red and Assiniboine rivers. Since fierce winds and criminally low temperatures can be daunting to human health, the designers created a temporary but clever solution that mimics animal behavior.

Relatively easy to assemble, these skate shelters also require very few materials, making them easy on the environment but crucial for safe fun. The plywood walls are only 3/16th of an inch and are built around a timber armature that includes a triangular base, a wedge-shaped spine, and ridge materials.

Probably the most brilliant aspect of this design is its positioning. A pairing is placed at a 120 degree rotation, while three shelters together are placed at 90 degrees. This resembles the effect created when buffalos huddle together to protect themselves from harsh winter conditions, ensuring that the flexible, lightweight material can stand up to the elements. Albeit simple, this brilliant design could actually mean the difference between life and death!

+ Patakau

Via Dezeen


or your inhabitat account below


  1. fgd May 31, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Siberia is not a city. (Put ‘Novosibirsk’ in there of ya like and see if ya readers can work out what the heck Winnipeg uis like!)

  2. matthewm0351 May 23, 2011 at 4:34 am

    Great source of inspiration, nature is always beautiful and innovative. I would really like to see a floor plan or aerial photo to really get an idea of the geometry.

  3. Tafline Laylin May 11, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Canada Metis, not California!

  4. metis May 10, 2011 at 11:59 am

    i am reasonably certain that a city in california is not colder than either winnipeg or the territory of siberia.

    doesn’t anyone at inhabitant edit anymore?

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home