Canning architect celebrates public space

Published on March 18, 2017

This image is a close up of the Ice Lantern at the competition in Winnipeg

©Jacqueline Young

CANNING NS – Canning architects, houdinidesign, the sole Canadian winner of the 2017 Warming Huts: An Art + Architecture Completion on Ice, recently showed their ‘Ice Lantern’ in Winnipeg.

“We were thrilled to be part of this event because the way Winnipeg architects celebrate architecture and design is phenomenal,” said Lisa Tondino, owner of houdinidesign. “Winnipeg is engaging the public in a unique way, and Nova Scotia should be following suit.”

The Ice Lantern was designed by the team of Tondino, Alexandra Bolen, Mathew Rodrigues and Drew Klassen. Klassen is a well-known painter now living in Ottawa.

“We had the idea of a lantern that would beckon people, skaters, pedestrians,” said Bolen.

“The design helps re-define public space, because it engages the public through this beautiful natural feature of the river: it’s nature, it’s outdoor activity, it’s beauty,” said Tondino.

“Why couldn’t we have the same thing here, say at the skating oval in Halifax, or Miners’ Marsh in Kentville? Build a public structure that people can sit in, crawl in, be in.”

The competition was open and endorsed by the Manitoba Association of Architects. The three designs selected in the competition were those that best ‘push the envelope of design, craft and art.’

Taken from a distance, the Ice Lantern appears to belong in the landscape.

©Jacqueline Young

“The 2017 Warming Huts are ideal examples of the value designers and architects bring to everything we do – blending creativity, practicality and expertise to offer solutions for the community and the world around us,” says Verne Reimer, president of the Manitoba Association of Architects.

“It’s pretty cool that a niche project in the middle of nowhere is attracting some of the greatest architects and artists on the planet,” says Paul Jordan, chief executive officer of The Forks Renewal Corporation.

The other winners of Warming Huts v.2017 were Open Border by Joyce de Grauw and Paul van den Berg from Rotterdam, Netherlands and Greetings from Bubble Beach by Team 888 from Chicago, Illinois. The 2017 invited submission came from world-renowned artist Anish Kapoor.

Digital files of the Ice Lantern and other images are available online at