Puff the Magic Wall is a unique, open-sided warming hut that features two distinct gathering experiences. The hut is comprised of a cavity “smoke” wall made of an insulated, non-combustible metal stud structure. A reflective glass façade faces the skating rink, while a covered seating area is bounded by a porcelain-clad wall. Artfully sculpted snowbanks, reminiscent of children’s snow forts, enclose the space, adding elevation to the predominantly flat River Trail, while blocking wind and providing radiant heat from a wood-burning stove. The elevated interior is accessible through a gently sloping ice ramp, and the wall presents an opportunity for a mural to add interest and reflect ambient color. Smoke from the chimney of the stove is collected and channeled through an exhaust pipe to the wall. Heat escapes the wall through perforations that provide a “smokey” appearance while warming the surrounding area, and providing a mystical and playful experience.
Puff the Magic Wall was submitted to the Warming Huts V. 2016 Competition – a call for warming hut and art installation designs for the Red River Mutual River trail on the Assiniboine and Red Rivers in Winnipeg, Manitoba.