The architects wanted to create a design that would use a limited set of tools and rely mostly on the site’s natural conditions. They chose reinforced ice, refined with organic materials gathered from six different time zones across Canada as the optimal material for the structures. The resulting colorful teepees combine ice and concrete-a building technique similar to that used by native people who mixed sawdust and water with ice to build temporary homes.
The structures could be made by two people without the use of machines, the concrete additive makes the ice more resistant to melting, and flowers, berries and vegetables add color to the icy buildings. These organic ingredients act as fibrous support and strengthen the constructions. In spring, when the sun starts melting the tepees, the plants and vegetables within the layers of ice give off a pleasant scent. As the water runs off downstream, the scents and organic colors eventually become part of the river.
+ Warming Huts Competition