V&A: Plywood ice-skating shelters garden installation

Design by Patkau architects, Vancouver, 2011

The plywood ice-skating shelters won an annual competition to design warming huts, which sit on a frozen river in Winnipeg, Canada. Each accommodates three of four people, and they’re clustered to form a small “village”.

We were invited to recreate them as part of the V&A’s plywood exhibition which took place in 2017. Each shelter is made of flexible plywood panels that overlap to create a rigid but still flexible structure. Temperatures on the river can reach minus 40˚C and winds can be strong, so the flexibility of the shelters is a great advantage.