The elemental, pure form of the hut, almost the very symbol of home, rendered in the stark black of charred wood, is nestled in soft white snow. Inside, layers of thick ivory felt line the walls and seating, creating a nest-like interior reminiscent of ancient gathering places strewn with animal pelts. On closer inspection, one discovers the felt layers embossed with delicate patterns and textures, a subtle sanctification of intimate space. The room has a unique sound, or absence thereof: it is silent, like the sound of new snow on the street.

It was a winning entry The Warming Huts v.2013: An Art + Architecture Competition on Ice.

Aamodt / Plumb uploaded Warming Hut through Add A Home.
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In responding to the harsh winter conditions of The River Trail, the design of the SMOKEHOUSE uses form and materiality to provide as well as signify shelter and warmth.

A fire to keep people warm from the harsh elements of winter.

The layers of thick wool felt are shingled along the walls and seating, fastened with galvanized roofing nails to the wall studs. The undyed wool felt acts as blanket, insulation and wind stop; it is naturally fire-resistant and can withstand the elements that enter through the gaps in the walls.

The exterior of the Smokehouse is clad in charred cedar and its black form stands in sharp contrast to the white snow and ivory felt. Burning the planks over a fire in a metal waste bin, a technique used in Japan for thousands of years, yields a crispy black crust, stabilizing the wood and making it rot, pest and fire-resistant.

Light plays on the felt.

This vent hole in the roof acts like a chimney.

Filtered light through the hug

Snow falls on charred wood, creating a striking contrast.

  • Dan Harper
  • 2013