Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

For that warm, fuzzy feeling

The Forks unveils river hut winners

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Hygge, pronounced hYOOguh, sounds more like something you shout at football games after having consumed a few beers.

But starting in January, it will be the place on The Forks frozen river trail where walkers and skaters get a warm feeling all over.

Hygge House is the winning entry in the annual warming hut architecture contest at The Forks. A group of Winnipeg architects beat out 90 entries from around the world with Hygge House.

Hygge is a Danish word meaning physical and social comfort.

Companies Plain Projects, Urbanink and Pike Projects co-operated on the winning design.

The local talent beat out entries from as distant as Tokyo, Moscow, Lisbon, Barcelona, Egypt, Colombia and Germany.

They were chosen by a three-person "blind" jury, meaning the jury had no knowledge or background on any submitters.

Hygge House is an iconic pioneer cabin with the inside painted fluorescent yellow. Everything, including the walls, a functioning wood stove, a crokinole board and a wall-mounted fish, will also be fluorescent yellow.

"We're creating a mindscape for warmth," explained Colin Grover of Pike Projects.

People skating by Hygge House, however, may be left wondering where the other half is.

Said Liz Wreford-Taylor of Plain Projects: "We sliced it in half and opened it up" to make it a place where people are open to social interaction.

It will be surrounded by trees painted black like a small forested yard.

Second and third places went to Smokehouse, by Aamodt/plumb Architects from Cambridge, Mass., and Woolhaus, by Myung kweon Park of New York.

The winning warming huts and others are expected to be on display by the third week of January. Also coming back this year is the 21-tree river ice forest designed by a team of Israeli architects last year.

Paul Jordan, chief operator officer of The Forks Renewal Corp., said it's looking good for the river trail this year but he didn't want to say more.

"I don't want to jinx it," he said. The world's longest ice-skating trail hasn't been its normal self the last two years when it was only three kilometres long.

bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 30, 2012 A10

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