Design in context is our main principle and value in architecture. Installation Totem was selected at an open architecture competition from 180 submissions to be built in Canada for Winnpeg installation festival Warming Huts. The extraordinary conditions of the site, lowest temperature reaches -40°C and building on frozen river, made this an unique design challenge.
The Red River flowing through Winnipeg freezes for couple of months in the winter and is creating an exiting extention to the public space that people take in to use as a walking and skating path. Alongside the path spaces for stopping are created by international artists and architects. They provide shelter from the cold and new experiences in the magical winter landscape.
On a plain white landscape Totem appears on the horizon forming a point of reference to a journey. It gives an unique opportunity to climb a tower that is as narrow as the person him- or herself. Totems placed as welcome gates create an abstract space. The aura in-between them link the two together. The border of space defined by volumes of totems becomes the catalyst for interaction -individuals meet with a glance from up above. It is about the person’s individual journey- an experience being alone above the paths, becoming a collective experience when shared between two climbers – strangers or friends.
Architects: Aet Ader, Mari Hunt, Zane Kalnina, Kadri Klementi, Nele Šverns, Karin Tõugu