Friday, January 14, 2011

The Warming Hut

Starting off studio with a small design problem-a warming hut for skiers that incorporates the complexity of a steeply sloped site and the complexities present when designing with concrete. When looking up precedents, one theme came through pretty strongly-the idea of centrality. Most warming huts are organized around the stove or fire, which makes for an efficient transfer of heat to many people but also provides the perfect place for people to gather and talk.

I see the warming hut being a very welcoming place on the side of this large, frosted mountain. In a landscape that can seem pretty forbidding to humans, the warming hut should provide a sense of comfort just upon sight. It is why I chose to nestle my warming hut in a nook of sorts of the mountain-a place where the land almost folds back in on itself, which would allow the warming hut to be almost embraced by the mountain. Most warming huts do this when they're constructed of materials that inherently provide that sense of warmth, like wood, however, with a concrete structure, this could prove to be a challenge. To me, concrete has always seemed to be a fairly cold material, institutional almost, so the challenge will be to make concrete friendly and inviting. Almost the exact opposite of this idea is the image seen here-what seems to be almost an ice fortress on the mountain that looks like something from out of the Lord of the Rings. While uninviting, it does have its place on the mountain and it fits in almost perfectly with the bulky snow peaks and tall evergreens surrounding it.

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