Winter Transformation

responsive shelters – architectural concept – 2011

Winter Transformation is a system of responsive shelters that can be inserted into many of downtown Calgary’s under-utilized outdoor spaces. This intervention is partly inspired by the winter city of Copenhagen and its effective use of urban nodes, which I define as connected spaces that provide a diverse range of amenities and programs, acting as focal points within an urban network. Winter Transformation has been designed to replace the void spaces of downtown Calgary with sheltered destinations that act as urban nodes, each one located at a comfortable walking distance from the next, helping to repair the city’s fragmented urban fabric. Influenced by wind studies, the shelters provide protection using a ‘clustering’ formation of the shields while allowing occupants to maintain a connection with the outdoor environment. When cold weather sets in, the structure transforms and the shields descend, nestling themselves into the courtyard space at street level. Winter Transformation provides people with a network of connected nodes that provide shelter and a reason to stay outside deep into the winter.