Arctic Topiaries

Authored by: WAG Staff on January 7, 2019

Each year, Winnipeg’s Warming Huts: An Art + Architecture Competition on Ice attracts the world’s attention by fusing the best of design and art with the city’s famous winters, and this year your WAG is participating!

The 2019 edition is the Warming Huts’ 10th anniversary and promises to be one of the most exciting years yet, from Norwegian ice musician Terje Isungset performing with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as part of the New Music Festival at The Forks in Pavilion Sub-Zero (designed by Sputnik Architecture with University of Manitoba Faculty of Architecture), which will feature an ice bar and sculptures created by renowned ice architect Luca Roncoroni, to a special hut conceived by Michael Maltzan Architecture (MMA), the award-winning firm that's designing the WAG Inuit Art Centre, and much more.

Entitled Arctic Topiaries, MMA’s design for Warming Huts v.2019 is a family of carved structures that are as dynamic in their sculptural shape as they are in the negative space created between them.

The huts are constructed as a kind of snow “topiary”, varying in height and diameter. They integrate and are created from their environment of snow and ice. With glowing light emanating from their walls, the topiaries will be beacons of shelter for those on the ice.

Made possible with generous support from Sparrow Hotels and MMA, Arctic Topiaries is presented in celebration of the 2020 opening of the WAG Inuit Art Centre. Although foreign to the LA-based MMA studio, snow was their material of choice for this project. And in the spirit of collaboration central to the mission of the WAG, the team has engaged some of our friends at the Manitoba Inuit Association to share their snow expertise to assist with the construction.

There will be a weeklong warming hut building blitz at the end of January at The Forks. Come down to the Red River Mutual Trail to see Arctic Topiaries come to life! The huts officially open to the public on Friday, January 25

Learn more and discover the winners of Warming Huts v.2019 at

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  • Interesting


    2019-01-08 15:02

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